I’ve discovered a couple things about our new Colorado Springs house that we would never have found out when we were house shopping in May.

1.) When the winds are >20kt, there is whistling all over the place. It wasn’t windy when we were house shopping.

2.) Our south-facing windows flood sunlight into family room and kitchen. This wasn’t an issue in the summer when the sun is higher in the sky, but now the sun doesn’t leave the southern sky at all during the day. As much as I love a sunny house, it’s tough to watch TV in the afternoons. Lots of glare. And I understand this will pay dividends when it’s really cold outside, but the sun will warm these rooms.

3.) The house came with a Bosch dishwasher. We needed a repairman recently for it and I had to call 3 repair companies before I could get someone who would work on a Bosch. I didn’t realize they were so complicated.

Being that this is our eighth home since we got married (10 if you count the two other places I lived when we were at Fort Polk), we’ve resigned ourselves to accepting some of the “glitches” we get when we only have a couple days to pick out a residence. Often you can’t know everything with such a short time, when you’re juggling upwards of a dozen houses in one weekend.

Enjoy some anecdotes of things we’d discovered after the fact in our assorted houses. More »

08. October 2013 · Comments Off on 5 Movies that Make Me Cry — Every Time! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,


I was flipping channels last night. Usually that’s Dave’s job, but he goes to bed pretty early ahead of his teaching days. He has to be at work with enough time to prepare for a 0730 class on teaching days.

There is a batch of movies that I will always stop on if it’s playing on a channel. Movies that include Julie and Julia, Eat, Pray, Love, and The Princess Bride. But those movies don’t make me cry. I even own The Princess Bride but I’ll still endure the commercials for the convenience of it being on.

But there are five movies that I will stop at every time and watch…and have my Kleenex ready!

Last night it was Steel Magnolias.

SPOILER ALERT! I will be describing the scenes that make me cry. If you don’t want to know what happens, please don’t read on! Here’s a picture of a movie poster to break things up for you.

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27. September 2013 · Comments Off on Walking to School · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

I’m about to embark on a topic and present an opinion that might make me very unpopular.

When the weather cooperates, I have my sons walk to and from school. It’s about 1/2 mile, gently uphill towards the school, gently downhill all the way home.

We are surrounded by houses with families who drive their kids to the same school every day. We walk past several houses where we see the kids loading up in the cars — to go to the same destination.

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I’ve decided it’s time for me to get my list in writing. I turn 40 later this year and I figure that’s half of my life complete (based on U.S. census tables), so it’s time to set some goals for the latter half of my life. I see and hear about things all the time that prompt me to say to myself, “I should do that before I die!” And then I tend to forget about it.

These are the big-ticket things I’d like to do one day. Most of it is traveling, but I’ve alway felt that there’s so much of the world to see and learn about.

No, I don’t have the money or time to do a lot of these things. But that’s what I have the rest of my life for, right? And it appears that much of it is visiting stuff.

Disclaimers about this list:

  • There is no timeline on most of these, except somewhat for Obergammerau
  • These are presented in no particular order
  • I am not suggesting I have the money to do all these things
  • This list will change constantly and I will bump it periodically

Leave a comment if you think there’s something else I should try, or if you have tips about something on the list, or if you want to share your own bucket list items!

Yes, I would like to do this one day: Cruise to Antarctica.

  1. Visit Antarctica
  2. Visit the Grand Canyon
  3. Climb Mount Rainer
  4. Run the Marine Corps Marathon
  5. Do the Goofy Challenge at Disney World
  6. Visit Banff/Whistler
  7. See the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
  8. Visit Yellowstone National Park
  9. Take an African safari, hopefully with the kids
  10. View the polar bears in Manitoba or Norway
  11. Go to San Diego ComiCon
  12. Visit Paris
  13. Ski in the French Alps
  14. Ski in New Zealand in July
  15. Learn to snowboard (Note: I tried to learn, twice. I’m too old for this crap).
  16. Visit Alaska, perhaps on a cruise
  17. Visit Beijing
  18. Visit Times Square on New Year’s Eve to see the ball drop
  19. See the Passion Play in Obergammerau, Germany in 2020. Take the kids.
  20. Plant a garden that will provide the sole source of produce for my family all season
  21. See Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade live.
08. January 2013 · Comments Off on Because I Can! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,
No, I don't mind chewing my orange juice one bit!

No, I don’t mind chewing my orange juice one bit!

Of course I miss my family when I do my reserve duty, and I have to deal with flying in the month of January, but there are a few perks to being on my own for a week.

Such as getting to buy and drink “HIGH PULP” orange juice!

And working through a box of Raisin Nut Bran cereal for breakfast every day I’m here.

I eat sushi for dinner without commentary from the peanut galley.

I can stay up as late as I like to read my book…when I’m not studying for my first Air War College exam, I’m working on World War Z by Tom Brooks right now. Yes, a zombie book, but there’s another layer to it that makes it a very worthwhile read: do YOU have the skills to survive for a generation or longer without electricity, fuel for your vehicles, or the Internet?

For the first few days I truly enjoy the quiet when I’m off duty. I don’t talk much, I get to surf the web without feeling guilty, the TV is on the channel I want. But after about 4 days of this, I do begin to get lonely. I begin to surf online albums of the boys’ baby pictures and pictures of Dave and me enjoying life.

Of course, I’ll take this over a long deployment…and kudos to those who are separated for much, much longer than this.

04. January 2013 · Comments Off on To Those Who Use the Multi-Use Trail on East Bay Blvd. · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,


When I take long training runs, I think about a LOT of stuff. Here are some of the wacky things that crossed my mind on today’s 8 mile training run, which took me on to County Route 399 near the airfield. Take it or leave it.

  1. If you let your dogs poop on the sidewalk and don’t clean up — YOU ARE WRONG. It’s bad enough when they’re aren’t cleaned up from the grass on the sides, but the SIDEWALK? On the 2 mile stretch of trail between Hidden Creek Golf Course and the Holley NOLF airstrip, I saw at least 4 piles from assorted sized pets, one of which had been stepped in…not by me, thankfully! Do the right thing and clean up after your pet.
  2. Just east of the PGA Blvd. intersection with East Bay Blvd. is a bridge that crosses over a creek. What died near that bridge? It smells AWFUL!
  3. Girl running this morning with the red gloves, do I really look that terrible? That face you gave me…in both directions…was pretty telling. Other people smile and say hello, even when drenched in sweat.
  4. Is it apropos that the last song that played on my Pandora at the very end of my run was “Misery” by Maroon 5?
  5. Is it in poor form to run down the very center of the street if the traffic is light enough? By the time you’ve run 4-5 miles, the slope on the roads starts to fatigue my ankles. I long for sidewalks in Holley by the Sea…
  6. Why did I run so slowly this morning? I average 9:15-9:20 miles but today they were 9:35-9:45 miles. Maybe I need to look into that app that gives you music that matches your desired pace.

Okay…time for lunch!



02. January 2013 · Comments Off on Major Mom’s Back to Basics Campaign: Getting Control Back! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,
This isn't my house. But this is how I feel like my life becomes at times. Messy, chaotic, out of control. I resolve to do better this year.

This isn’t my house. But this is how I feel like my life becomes at times. Messy, chaotic, out of control. I resolve to do better this year.

It’s 2013 and resolve to get my life back under control.

Since when do I actually abide by those resolutions? “Lose 20 pounds.” “Save more money.” “Eat out less”. “Bake my own bread.” “Run a half marathon every season.”

Have you ever had “training” on how to set goals? I remember getting some training on it in AFROTC many years ago, back when we had an ENTIRE SEMESTER on Quality Air Force, which was the Air Force’s adaptation of Total Quality Management in the mid-1990s. Part of the training was about how to set meaningful, reasonable goals.

Feel free to Google “Goal setting” or “how to set reasonable goals” and you’ll see all sorts of tips. What I remember is  the following:

  • Goals should be realistic.
  • Goals should be achievable in a timely manner.
  • Goals should be achievable with resources available.
  • Goals’ successes should be measurable.

As you can see from the title, simply declaring “Getting control back!” is not really measurable, is it? After all, how do I know whether my life is in control or not? To a fly on the wall, it might seem like my life is in control: my kids are clothed, fed, they’re taken to piano, Scouts, sports and school at the proper times. Bills are paid, I meet my AF Reserve obligations, and I remembered everyones’ birthdays in 2012 (I think).

I need help with meal planning and keeping up with housework. Every once in a while I’ll fuss about these two things on Facebook or Twitter…or here on this blog. These are the two items that will fall by the wayside FIRST when our lives get busy. I’ll get into scenarios where I don’t have time to cook, the laundry and dishes will pile up, and my poor floors get filthy, and the dust tumbleweed starts to roll.

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Can you see the cracks in the screen?

Can you see the cracks in the screen? It’s extra creepy when I’m looking at this picture of screen cracks through the real cracked screen.

Allow me to give a little public service announcement.

Last weekend I dropped a filled duffel bag while attempting to load it into our car-top carrier for our holiday trip to Tampa. It fell from the top of our SUV, and in the bag were my Macbook and iPad.  The iPad was well-protected, but the Macbook was not; the screen shattered and one corner of the aluminum body crushed.

Don’t yell at me, I’ve been fussed at enough about this.

The computer is still working decently, although I can occasionally feel the cracking of some small shards of glass inside the keyboard.

We have USAA Property Insurance (being a military family and all), and we immediately called them about our options for getting the computer repaired or replaced.

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*Yes, you read that right. Every time I watched that Jamie Oliver show on ABC a couple seasons ago, or think of his subsequent dietary education campaign, I would think of the video game Dance, Dance Revolution. Sorry…it’s still what goes through my head when I think of it now….

First, allow me to say that to anyone who is dealing with the effects of Hurricane Sandy, best of luck to you! The surreal, post-apocalyptic feeling you and your community is experiencing will hopefully only be temporary. Keep your chins up, America is behind you and know that the country has mobilized to help out in so many ways!

This makes total sense to me…in theory. In reality, I’m running for the hills…I need my pasta and cereal!

I need some inspiration and motivation, friends!

I don’t need the education, I’ve read it all!  I don’t need the resources, I plan to just get what I need at the grocery store!

(Yes, I’m YELLING this!)

I’m seeing so many of my friends and colleagues simply make the choice to stop eating carbs, stop overdoing it on dairy, and happily eat more fruits and vegetables. And the results are so impressive. Weight loss, sure, but also improved overall health, energy and focus.

I was behaving pretty well preparing for my Air Force Fitness Test last week. That test is behind me, I got a high enough score to not have to test again for another year (yay!), and I rewarded myself with a Five Guys burger with fries.

I know…I know…not good.

I always want starches: potatoes, breads, pasta. It’s like a drug.

I’m sort of venting here, sorry. I just want to know what I need to do to my brain to convince it to back off on the breads, crackers, cookies and such.  I love it all!

Speaking of cookies — well, I’m doomed.

I had to skip my cookie extravaganza altogether in 2011 due to Dave’s surgery, but this year, as soon as I get back from our Thanksgiving travels, I plan to fire up the oven, get the Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes ready, and get baking!

I’ll be writing more about our favorite family cookie recipes later this month, but for now you can browse through my November 2008 posts for 3 of our favorites.

Now to refrain from eating all the cookie factory seconds…

How do you keep inspired for more than just a couple weeks to change your eating habits for good?  Please comment here and help me!  Thanks!

29. October 2012 · Comments Off on Thoughts on Sandy, Social Media, and the 70s Seen Through Argo’s Camera Lens · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

Who else remembers TV sets looking like this? Sans remote control. If you want to change the channel, you had to get up out of your chair. Not all TVs sets could even connect to cable! Just an antenna!

Yes, an eclectic mix of topics, I know.

Greetings from my AF Reserve two-week tour. I’m sitting in my billeting room rather bored right now. The night shift I was scheduled for is canceled, and I had been sleeping mornings so be ready for my night shifts. I now flip back to day shifts; this will be interesting.  I woke up this morning at 11:30am! And now I need to be able to go to bed by about midnight.

Anyway, we’ve all been busy at work keeping tabs on Hurricane-now-Superstorm Sandy. When I’m off duty, I have The Weather Channel on, with Twitter, Facebook and Google+ all screaming newsfeeds at me about the storm.

You don’t have to be subscribed to any social media to keep in touch: Go ahead, check it out!

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