I tend to do this a lot.  Just sneak a few pictures of something intriguing while in a store…it’s fun to slowly wander around without the pressure of the kids, or appointments or meetings that seem to dominate my life when I’m at home.  I have plenty of those here, but I also have a relaxing time when I’m off shift.

I was at the BX (Base Exchange) today browsing for a thank you card for someone. I walked past an aisle of hard liquor and the bottom row caught my attention.  Bottom shelf, they call it, right?

Who else had no problem drinking the “cheap stuff” when in college? I’m a bit more discriminating now, but considering how little I drink now, I have no problem making more discriminating “investments” in our alcohol.

It all looks so…standardized!

But wait!  There’s more!

Need some bourbon, scotch or Canadian whiskey?

Can’t beat those prices!!!  Can’t beat some of the reviews of these products either.  Oh, and check out this one, which is from the VodkaBuzz website, home of some very discriminating vodka purveyors.

Anyway, there’s more to the story.  I picked up a bottle of the Canadian whiskey to get an idea of who was bottling this liquor…all the same bottles with similar-looking labels.  I found a reference to Atlantic Wind and Spirits out of Baltimore, MD.  But some Google sleuthing reveals that they’re little more than a distributor.

Someone is distilling, fermenting, etc. this stuff — who?

More Google sleuthing revealed the Sazerac Company.  Yes, like the Sazerac mixed drink. They seem to outsource distilling of their premium spirits to other companies, but then it gets distributed under numerous other names.  And if this recent peanut butter recall is any indication, you can imagine where else you’re seeing the same “Miltary Special” spirits.  Look what I found out:

This same company that makes the Military Special vodka also makes CVS and Albertson’s…and “Skol”, a brand I remember from my college days..similarly, the Military Special American blended whiskey is the same as CVS’s.

You can read more about their brands here (click “Our Brands” at the top).

And the kicker? Check out these inset pictures on the Canadian whiskey and rum bottles.  I mean, how stereotypical can you possibly get???

I have no words for this…

Or this…


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.

21. September 2012 · Comments Off on Happy Birthday Jacob! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

Jacob turned 10 years old earlier this month. We had a small birthday party for him at the house, and Jacob enjoyed playing with some of his birthday gifts.

Thanks to everyone to recognized his birthday with nice gifts, and thanks to those who took time out of their busy schedules to celebrate with us earlier this month.

And if you’re wondering, NO, I can’t believe I’m now the mother of a ten-year-old. I remember when I was just turning 10 years old, we had just moved into a new house in Norfolk, Va, and I walked 2/3 of a mile in each direction to and from school, without parents, and with my Kindergarten-aged sister.

Jacob wanted a Harry Potter-themed birthday party, but with an inflatable slip ‘n slide. It was definitely a hybrid experience. These are Golden Snitch cake pops. You’re right, I wouldn’t have thought that either upon first glance…

A close up of the completed Golden Snitch. Don’t laugh. The wings are made of gum paste.

We need a cake for the candles, right? The Gryffindor emblem was printed on cardstock and laminated with clear packing tape.

We have really enjoyed having a backyard here large enough to bring in these big inflatables. We rented the tables and chairs for the AF Base.

It was breezy and I had a hard time keeping the candles lit…

Most of his gifts were LEGOs! Thanks everyone!

Jacob got cash from the Grandparents this year. He took the check from Grandma and Grandpa Fox and used to to buy a metal detector. He deposited Grammy and Grampy’s check in the bank and is waiting for a video game to come out to use it.


20. September 2012 · Comments Off on Our Trip to Dragon*Con · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

We all know who that is on the left. But who knows who’s standing on the other side of me? It was SO SCARY how well he nailed the character!

This post has been a long time coming…but because GeekMom’s credientials got me a free press pass into Dragon*Con, I had to write all my Dragon*Con related posts for GeekMom first. Our whole family drove up to Atlanta over Labor Day weekend and stayed in a hotel near Turner Field so we could also enjoy a Braves game (for another post).

Learn more about the history of Dragon*Con here.

Do you want to go to Dragon*Con? Here’s the website.

Since I’m heading on a jet plane for Nebraska in the morning, I figured for now I could simply refer you to the posts I had written over the past 2 1/2 weeks for GeekMom. That about sums up the fantastic weekend we had!

I have a lot more posts forthcoming (about a plethora of topics) as I have a few days to myself while I’m working.

The boys couldn’t get enough of all the costumes! They were indispensable when it came to identifying some of the characters, especially from Pokemon and the more obscure Star Wars characters.

I had never been to a fan-con, and it was a pretty amazing experience. I was probably a bit over my head with how intense some of the fans are. I didn’t even attempt to wait in the very long lines to meet some of the more popular fans (such as Torchwood’s John Barrowman and Batman’s Adam West and Burt Ward).

The parade was a totally new experience for our family, especially the part where we publicly appeared in costumes somewhere other than on Halloween or a Civil War reenactment!

For those who didn’t know, Timmy became a Doctor Who fan this past summer. I’ve been slowly working my way through 2005-and-later episodes on Amazon Video and he often joins me. He loved seeing the Daleks, TARDISes and fans dressed as the several variations of The Doctor.

The next Dragon*Con post I plan to write will be an interview with the amazing Erin Gray, who starred in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century in the 1970s, and Silver Spoons in the 1980s. Ms. Gray’s accounts of being a working mom in a challenging marriage were very moving. It was also very interesting learning her story of how she turned to alternative medicine and tai chi as a way to keep from delving down a road of drugs and alcohol, like so many of her colleagues.

Dave is a huge fan of The Simpsons. He found not only Duff Man, but also a group of Stonecutters!

Here are my four Dragon*Con Diary posts, enjoy!

First Impressions

Dragon*Con With the Kids

“Cosplay” and the Dragon*Con Parade

Science and Space Panels

16. September 2012 · Comments Off on Lieutenant Colonel Mom…. · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

Perhaps you’re a little confused here? These are Civil War-era Union Army Lieutenant Colonel shoulder marks. They might provide some insight to why those “oak leaves” we wear now are called that, even though I’ve never seen an oak tree with leaves shaped like the modern-day rank.

So I wrote a post 363 days ago about how I had received a notification for promotion about 390 days ago.  In that post I also promised not to change the name of my blog…

But who’s counting the days now?

On September 1st the promotion went into effect.

While for those on active duty it’s usually a very elegant affair complete with a re-affirmation of the original commissioning oath of office, a fun “pinning on” with the family and catered meals (in fact, I had the privilege of attending a very nice promotion ceremony for a colleague who became a Colonel on September 1st), for us reservists it’s more quiet. I will be flying to Nebraska later this week to perform some duty days and will be in my new digs.  Well, the same old digs with new oak leaves sewn on.

I don’t feel any different, and the job I’m doing isn’t going to change as a result.  The AF Reserves are special that way…

I am WAY behind on posts in general, I plan to write about Dragon*Con and Jacob’s birthday this week.  Thanks for your patience!

So…the last time I did one of these was precisely 52 weeks ago (9 Sep 2011). I guess it’s been a while. I got a bit lazy and now that I’m not running around crazy with my Hurlburt Spouses’ Club responsibilities, I have time to do this again and I’m so excited about it!

For my new fans, my blogosphere/Twitterverse friend Wife of a Sailor does this monthly meme for Military Spouses to get to know each other. It’s fun and very very interesting! Wifey asks five questions per month, and we spouses write up blog posts with the answers. On Friday she will put up a post with her own answers and a place for us to share our respective blog post answers.

  1. What’s one thing in the past month you would have changed? Gee.  I don’t know…I can’t think of anything right now, but if something comes to mind, I’ll edit this post accordingly…
  2. What was your favorite thing that happened in August? I had a great dinner with my husband at Melting Pot in Pensacola for our 17th Anniversary.
  3. What did you do to celebrate Labor Day? We drove home from Dragon*Con absolutely exhausted! It was a seven-hour drive.
  4. What do you HAVE to have handy by your bedside? Lip balm. I keep a tube of Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm at my bedside. And if I accidentally travel without a tube of it, I’m in trouble. I can’t go to sleep without a swipe of the stuff across my lips.
  5. What are you looking forward to in September? Sounds strange, but I’m looking forward to heading to Omaha in the last part of the month for some AF Reserve work.  I haven’t worked at all since May, and I’ll have a lot of catch up on.

Three and a half years I elected to grow out my hair (February 2009, while I was deployed, after a very bad haircut), I faced the scissors and cut off about 16″ of my hair about 2 weeks ago.

I had last done this in September 2007 right before I had started a new position in the AF Reserves, and I had donated the hair to the organization Locks of Love. I did the same thing this time around, although I was saddened to hear that Locks of Love is very discriminating about the hair they receive and very few of their donations are actually turned into wigs.

Enjoy some pictures from my August 24th haircut!

First the hair has to be sectioned off before cutting. My stylist, Katrina, got four sections.

I had to say “Just do it!”. And there they are…the top ends of those ponytails looked and felt like large makeup brushes.

When all was said and done, Katrina had to straighten and flatten my hair to make sure it’s even. I felt like the Johnny Depp version of Willie Wonka. I don’t plan to wear my hair like this.

This is more how I will wear my hair. Much easier to style this way. More like that cute actress who plays Alice Cullen in Twilight.