21. September 2012 · Comments Off on The Hurlburt Field Air Force Ball · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

Like my dress? Read on for the big reveal. This is an iPhone photo of the portraits Dave and I had taken…so it’s a little blurry here, but looks really nice sitting on our mantle in the living room.

Hurlburt Field had their first ever Air Force Birthday Ball last weekend. For those who might not have been aware, the US Air Force celebrated their 65th Birthday on September 18th.

They oversold the ball by several hundred tickets. I manage the website and Facebook pages for our base spouses’ club, and I put up the posts about how to purchase the tickets in early August. About 3 weeks later I was sent a note asking to take down the posts. “We’re SOLD OUT!”

It was a huge, beautiful affair at the Emerald Coast Convention Center on Okaloosa Island. We had a lovely dinner and fun entertainment in the form of videos featuring Air Force Special Operations, a pair of very funny emcees, and an incredible guest speaker: the Fifth Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, Robert Gaylor. At 82 years of age, he enlisted in 1948 has known the U.S. Air Force for 64 of its 65 years of existence! His stories were lighthearted, but with great messages about knowing your aptitude, having a good attitude, and never giving up on learning.

My favorite anecdote was about his receiving a job offer at Barksdale Air Force Base in the mid-60s. He was asked to teach at the NCO Academy where he had just been an Honor Graduate. His family was resistant, his kids were in a good school at their current location and his wife was asking “Are you sure about this?”  The kids asked “Do we have to?”

Chief: “What’s your last name kids?”

The kids, “Gaylor….”

Chief: “Then get in the damned car!”

After teaching just two classes at the NCO Academy, the school closed temporarily. He was sent on a remote assignment to Thailand (during the Vietnam War), after which he was involved in reopening the school. I had tears in my eyes when he told that part of the story…I’m not sure if it was from laughter or sympathy for his poor family.

It was very lovely seeing so many folks from Dave’s squadron at the event, also. We were spread among three tables!

A couple people had asked if I was going to attend in my Mess Dress uniform. I have that option, but I was looking forward to getting to put on a pretty dress.

A dress that had been sitting in my closet for 18 months.

My Hurlburt Thrift Shop dress!

My $5 Hurlburt Thrift Shop dress!

My only concern with this dress was possibly running into the original owner at the ball, ha ha!

I bought it just a couple months after we moved here. I had taken a Honda Pilot-load of donations to the shop and after unloading, I took a look around. And there was the dress sitting with other gowns. This one happened to fit and was marked for $10. When I took it up front to pay, the manager said that the gown was actually $5 because it had been sitting on the rack for a certain amount of time (2 months? 4 months? I can’t remember the thrift shop consignment rules)…

I bought some silver gloves on Amazon, silver strappy dress shoes at the local Shoe Dept. store, and a pretty blingy headband at Claire’s. I had a silver purse and jewelry on hand, yay!

I think I might have finally redeemed myself from the $300 dress I got in Omaha in 2010.

I’m trying out a new commenting tool on my blog: LiveFyre.  I’ve seen it work well on a friend’s blog, so I thought I’d give it a go over here.  One of the things it’s supposed to resolve is tying together Facebook and Twitter comments with the blog’s own comments.  So they’re all in one place.  That seemed really cool to me.

So feel free to either comment here or in the Facebook or Twitter forums.  I might have to change my “syndication” hosting some to maximize this, we’ll see with further testing.

Thanks for your patience!  In the meantime, enjoy this picture taken today from our spouses’ club golf scramble!  Today was perfect weather, and the event went off without a (visible) hitch!  It was very well-done!

Cute cake, right? Made/decorated by my friend Steph (of Disney Half Marathon and 80s Party fame).

A closeup of the little alligators! There are 2-3 gators living on the golf course we were at today 🙂

19. December 2011 · Comments Off on Feels Like Just Six Months Ago I Was Doing This…. · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

?”I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.”

It came across my @BreakingNews Twitter feed this evening.  Before CNN, before FoxNews…Yahoo news had apprently caught it from Yonhap News Agency.

I did get a grin out of Korea Central News Agency apparently reporting that their “Dear Leader” died of fatigue on a train.  Um…okay!

Dave and I were in Seoul, S. Korea from May 1998 – June 2000 (me) and July 2000 (Dave).  We had a great time there, but you couldn’t get complacent…every 3-4 months some sort of dialogue or action would remind us that there was real evil less than 100 km away.  We were in missile range if the poop really hit the fan.

So as I did for Bin Laden 6.5 months ago, I present to you my favorite song when an Axis of Evil leader passes away.

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!

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!

21. July 2011 · 5 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

Last Friday was Dave’s change of command.  He took command of the 2d Combat Weather Systems Squadron.  For any no-longer-actively-serving-in-Air-Force-Weather types, the squadron stood up in early 2010 combining personnel from the AF Combat Weather Center at Hurlburt Field with the Weather System Support Cadres from Robins and Tinker AFBs.

Both sets of parents, Dave’s brother and our niece came into town to see the ceremony.  It went off without a hitch, and here are a few pictures of our day.

I think I’m looking at someone else taking a picture of me, but I wanted to show off one of the pretty corsages all the ladies in our family were wearing.

Dave presented me flowers.  He called it an advance apology for late nights and changes to weekend plans.  🙂  He knew to get me a mixed bouquet instead of roses or lilies, which are typically what one sees given.  That mixed bouquet is still looking like it was just picked 5 days later in a vase on our kitchen table 🙂
The boys each got one of these coins.  A great gift!  Good job Dad!  We’re so proud of you!
12. July 2011 · 5 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,
Hey — is this lady really juggling for you?  In my blog post draft this is animated!

Today I’m doing a “reset” of sorts.  As great a time as we had at Disneyworld, on our road trip, and hosting our North Carolina friends showing off the sights of the Florida Panhandle, I realized we were “on the go” for a solid MONTH!

From June 8th through July 10th!  Wow!  And then there’s GeekMom Jenny who’s currently halfway through a 40-day vacation!

So here’s our “reset”: The kids are taking it easy, we’re taking care of a few errands, cleaning up the house some, and we’re getting ready for this weekend’s next set of festivities.

My Dear Husband’s assumption of command is this Friday.  Dave will be taking command of an Air Force weather squadron, and I couldn’t be more proud!  The “change of command” ceremony itself is a pretty elegant affair, and much of our extended family is coming into town this weekend to see the ceremony and celebrate with Dave.

I did a cursory search for some easy-to-digest information to help define Air Force Squadron command to a non-military member.  I didn’t think I’d find it, but I found this recent blog post with exactly what I need!  An Air Force Colonel at Sheppard AFB, TX wrote about how squadron commanders are selected and what kind of job is ahead of the Air Force’s newest squadron commanders.  Wow!  How easy is that?  I’ll just link it for you here:

Sheppard Live: Squadron Command

I’m proud and excited for Dave, but also nervous about what impact squadron command will have on the family.  While part of me is dreading that I’ll never see Dave for the next 2 years, that his new wife will be his squadron, I also remember how it was when Dave first started his 3-year PhD program in North Carolina.  Several fellow Air Force PhD-student families warned me, “Kiss Dave goodbye for the next 3 years.  He’s going to be living at his office!”.

So. Not. True.  Dave did a great job managing his time and even though it was tough work, things didn’t seem as bad as I thought they would be.

We are looking forward to have all the parents in town for the weekend, along with Dave’s brother and our 16-year-old niece.

10. February 2011 · 1 comment · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

The reason I was inspired to post about that 1957 Air Force wife book last week was because I was thinking about getting some “calling cards” of my own.  I’ve done this in the past, it’s great for trading playdate information on the playground.  It’s also much classier than scrawling down your information on the back of a crumbled gas station receipt at the bottom of your purse.  It helps out as a reservist, too, when you can’t access your military phone and e-mail account daily, you can just hand someone a personal card to follow up on a correspondence.

I learned this idea through a Mom on a playground in Cary, North Carolina back in 2005, but it’s reaped dividends as a military wife…when you have to introduce yourself to a new circle of friends every 2-3 years.

I had placed an order a couple weeks ago through VistaPrint.com for my free** 250 business cards and they arrived on Tuesday.

You really thought I’d show the world our address and phone number?  These cards are also great for “We’ve Moved” cards.  That way folks could just put your new address/phone/e-mail address in with other business cards.

Since they’re free**, you’ll be shamelessly promoting VistaPrint every time you share one of your cards.  I don’t mind, can’t argue with cheap well-made business cards.

**The cards are free, but you pay a small shipping fee (~$5).  Plus you have to be prepared to weed through no less than 15 webpages worth of “Would you like to add XX onto your order??” offers.

(Click on the pictures to see closeups of the text in the pictures).

Several years ago I received this book from my father-in-law.  He got it from a friend who sells antiques.  Dad thought I’d be intrigued by it, and gave it to me as a tongue-in-cheek gift.

I read the book the same weekend that Dave’s dad gave it to me and it put a lot of smiles on my face.  The book has been sitting with our other “old books”, and I discovered it again last month when we were unloading/organizing our bookcases in our new house.  I’ll share some of the tips and tricks here, but know that my intent here is NOT to be like the infamous 15 Minute Lunch post from 2007 (<–click it, if you haven’t seen the old Penney’s catalog blog posts, they’re AWESOME!).

Amazon offers the book, as you can see from my link on the left, but I absolutely have to share with you the typeface of the cover of my own copy.  It’s pretty cool!

A look at the back cover to learn a little more about the authors…

….wait a second!  They aren’t even AIR FORCE wives????  Actually these two ladies brought in several USAF wives for the various chapters, and they’re credit inside the book.

The forward was written by Mrs. Nathan Twining, the wife of the then-Chief of Staff of the Air Force.  That’s very nice — seriously, it was nice of her to endorse it.  Not sure if I would have bought it otherwise, especially after learning the authors were Navy wives.

I didn’t feel like scanning in the whole book, so I took photos of some of the funnier topics to share with you…

First of all, there’s this notion of calling cards.  According to this book, you need to ensure you have the proper stationary made up at a reputable engraver.  The sizes of the cardstock, paper and engraving type are recommended here:

Here are some examples of what calling cards should look like.

The book then goes into page after page about where and when to leave calling cards (Hint: you leave them when you “go calling”), what to write on the fronts, on the backs, and whether or not to use envelopes.  And PLEASE, no children!!!

The next picture stunned me.  May women wear Air Force insignia?  My first instincts is “WTF?  Don’t you get put in jail for doing that???”  But according to the book:

And if you go calling and the servant answers the door?  The servant?  Wow, I am definitely an AF wife in the wrong era:

Here’s something I’ve always needed help with.  And don’t forget that hot bouillon on a cold day for the early-arrivals 🙂

Now, here’s a tip that I know is still true 60+ years later!  Many of these military spouse functions fall by the wayside when you’re stationed in Washington, D.C.  I’m definitely glad the President no longer requires officers to call upon him.

To me, this paragraph is timeless.  I’m even going to make the picture bigger for you.  This is precisely why is probably wasn’t in the best interest for Captain Honor of the USS Enterprise or General McChrystal of US Forces Afghanistan to do things they did.  Believe me, I’ve said my share of things over a few beers at the club that I would never wanted recorded!  I have my opinions about publicizing those things that were recorded. Nonetheless, the cat was let out of the bag and the general public was left with a poor taste about our military leaders, who are trusted with our nation’s sons, daughters, husbands and wives.

13. August 2009 · Comments Off on What is a Military Wife? · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags:

This was sent to me by an Air Force wife who’s soon leaving us for (I think) Florida. Or was it New Mexico?

What is a Military Wife?*
By Jane Hubbard Hyde

A Military wife can be tough to describe.

She is a southern belle, a northeastern mets fan, a California 3rd generation re-cycler, a Pacific Islander.

She is short or tall

a tomboy

a fashion diva

a physician’s assistant

a Republican

a Democrat (yes, even THAT!)

A Military Wife is a career gal

a home-schooler

a scrap-booker

an accomplished cellist

an auto mechanic

What is a MILITARY Wife?

They may look different and each is wonderfully unique

But this they have in common.

lots of moving—

moving, moving, moving far from home

moving two cars, three kids and one dog—-all riding with HER of course

moving sofas to basements because they won’t go in THIS house

moving curtains that won’t fit

moving jobs and certifications and professional development hours

moving away from friends moving toward new friends

moving her most important luggage; her trunkful of memories

often waiting-

waiting, waiting, waiting for housing; waiting for orders; waiting
for deployment; waiting for reunion; waiting for phones calls;
waiting for the new curtains to arrive; waiting for him to come home
for dinner—-AGAIN!

They call her “military dependent”, but she knows better

she can balance a checkbook

handle the yard work

fix a noisy toilet.

She is intimately familiar with drywall anchors, and toggle bolts.

She can file the taxes, sell a house, buy a car, or set up a move, —
–all with ONE Power of Attorney.

She welcomes neighbors that don’t welcome her.

Reinvents her career with every PCS; locates a house in the desert,
the arctic, or the deep south and learns to call them all “home”.

She MAKES them all home.

She is fiercely IN-dependent

Military Wives are somewhat hasty

They leap into decorating, leadership, volunteering, career
alternatives, churches and friendships.

They don’t have 15 years to get to know people.

Their roots are short but flexible.

They plant annuals for themselves and
perennials for those who come after them.

Military Wives quickly learn to value each other.

They connect over
coffee, rely on the spouse-network and accept offers of friendship
and favors and record addresses in pencil.

Military Wives have a common bond.

The Military Wife has a husband unlike other husbands his commitment
is unique He doesn’t have a job, he has a “mission” he can’t just
decide to quit he’s on-call for his country 24/7 but for you, he’s
the most

Unreliable guy in town!

His language is foreign






And so, a Military Wife is a translator for her family and his.

She is the long-distance link to keep them informed, the glue that
holds them together.

Military Wife has her moments—-

She wants to wring his neck, dye his uniform pink, and refuse to
move to Siberia.

But she pulls herself together.

Give her a few days, a travel brochure, a long hot bath, a pledge to
the flag, and a wedding picture.

And she goes.

She packs.

She moves.

She follows.

What for?

How come?

You may think it is because she has lost her mind.

But actually it is because she has lost her heart.

It was stolen from her by a man

who puts duty first

who longs to deploy

who salutes the flag

and whose boots in the doorway remind her that as long as he is her
Military husband,

She will remain his Military wife.

*Disclaimer: I’m not your normal military wife, since I’m still part-time military, sometimes my husband has to bear part of this burden.