19. May 2009 · Comments Off on The Incredible Changing Woman · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags:

I’m quite impressed — in 2 1/2 weeks I was able to go from this:

From 2009 04 07 Muff_My_Last_Week

To this:

From 2009 04 24 AFWA_DiningOut

(Do I look like one of those ladies from the cast of Dynasty just standing around in a formal gown?)

I made it home from the desert in time to go with Dave to his office’s “dining out”. For some reason I emphatically proclaimed that I wanted to wear a dress instead of my mess dress. This is the first time in 15 years I’ve been to a military formal NOT in my mess dress:

From 2006 03 26 NCSU AFROTC Ball Pic

Also, I have to express how impressed I am that I’m wearing a NINE YEAR OLD DRESS! Whoo hoo! It’s still in pretty good shape, structurally, and (most importantly) IT STILL FITS ME!

Lucky me, I found this picture of me in the dress from almost exactly 9 years ago:

From 2009 04 24 AFWA_DiningOut

Pardon the strange-looking makeup there.  I look like an unpopular geisha or something…

More evidence that I tend to lead a double life. I have the honor of not just being a member of the military, but I’m also a proud Air Force wife.

When I was active duty, I’d attempt to participate in spouse functions, sometimes successfully, but sometimes NOT. Most were very welcoming and I had a great time playing Bunco, going on shopping trips, and attending countless bridal and baby showers.

The Air Force Wive’s group when I was in Korea in the late 90s was a prime example of not feeling welcome…most of their functions were tailored to times when the kids were in school, but once I made it to an evening event, and, to be honest, I wasn’t very comfortable listening to the men I worked with being referred to as “Billy”, “Joey”, “Tommy”, etc.

On the other hand, when I was stationed with the Army in my first years in the USAF, many of the Army ladies’ functions I participated in were great! They seemed much more laid back, and I didn’t see the distinctions between whether your spouse is enlisted, officer, the commander, etc. And they certainly didn’t care that I was Air Force, not Army.

If you’re a commander’s wife, you’re expected to be a leader in the spouse’s group. Obviously it isn’t required, but the other spouses will look to the commander’s spouse for guidance.

“What in the world is making you think of this NOW?”

Here’s what. Last week I attended a spouse’s appreciation function at Dave’s office. There were about 20 of us, we had a nice catered lunch and they even had some young Airmen who took Timmy and sat with him in a conference room where “Tale of Desperaux” was playing. After the lunch, we received the official Air Force Weather Agency briefing and then got a tour of the relatively-new building they work in now.

I like things like this. ┬áDave will tell you about how much fun I have at social functions, and it’s important to me to know about the people and their families in Dave’s professional life, we help each other out in times of need.

During the function, the AFWA commander came out and addressed us, thanking us for supporting our husbands and even giving us these lovely certificates.

From 2009 05 11 AFWA Spouse Certificate

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22. August 2008 · 8 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,

Dave went to the emergency room at about 4pm Wednesday with pains near his appendix. After a CT scan at 7pm, it was inconclusive whether it was really appendicitis, but Dave and the doctor made the decision at about 8:30pm to perform a “laproscopic appendectomy” Wednesday night. The surgeon (an Air Force doctor, actually, with privledges at the hospital) was able to look around quite a bit with the camera and couldn’t see any other problems, it’s most likely that Dave was responding to the earliest stages of appendicitis. They removed the appendix. At least that won’t bug him in the future!

Dave’s been in recovery since midnight Wednesday night/Thursday morning. He spent all of Thursday at the hospital with hopes of coming home Thursday afternoon. I spent several hours at the hospital Thursday over 3 visits (Timmy and Jake can only tolerate but so much time in a hospital room).

Unfortunately, he’s still at the hospital. The original pain that brought him to the emergency room in the first place is still present even after the surgery. He’s currently on Vicadin and that’s keeping the pain at bay (and his brain at bay, too!) His surgeon has elevated his case to the next level and on Thursday night a GI specialist is supposed to come in and do a consult.

The response from the families in Dave’s office has been astounding! It’s a little awkward since we just moved here, so in many ways I’m receiving all these offers to watch the boys and cook meals from complete strangers, but they won’t be strangers for long, and of course we’re all family: they’re all part of our Air Force Family!

Tonight Dave’s group commander (a Colonel, it’s his boss’s boss) and his wife brought over spaghetti with (bison) meat sauce that was TO DIE FOR! Too bad the boys took exception to the spaghetti and sauce already being mixed together, and also too bad Dave couldn’t taste it when it was fresh out of the pot. I’ve heard from several other wives asking how they can help out…the meals are great because I’m using the time I would spend preparing meals visiting with Dave.

So that’s where we stand: Dave’s appendix is out, but he’s still in a lot of pain in his lower abdomen. I’m trying to keep busy with the kids and the house — last night in the emergency room, and today while Timmy was napping and Jake was at school, I worked on stamping “We’ve Moved” cards. Cranked out about 50 of them!

14. August 2008 · Comments Off on Taking Stock! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

I get to blog about cooking again, yay! Vegetarians, avert your eyes!

Incidentally, the Offutt AFB commissary just so happens to be the nearest grocery store to our house. How cool is that? There’s a store called Baker’s nearby, but it’s just a couple more traffic lights away. I take 4-lane divided highways to the base, and an exit dumps me out about a mile from the gate nearest the commissary in 10 minutes.

So I check out the selection — not the biggest commissary I’ve been to (that distinction goes to Ft. Bragg), but definitely not the smallest (NAVMAG Lualualei, where I lived from 1977-1980, wins that one). They carry local produce (sometimes) and has a sushi bar and a decent organic foods selection. I see that whole chickens are only $3-4 each, and they’re sized perfectly for our family. About 1/2 the price per pound compared to the Tyson “Whole Chicken Cut-up”. So I pick one up and dissect it for a couple of meals. The breasts went into chicken soft tacos, and last night I oven-fried the leg quarters. Yum.

I’m left with the carcass and wings. I stuck them in the freezer over the weekend and today I started to think about making a chicken ettouffee either Friday or Saturday. My favorite recipe in the whole wide world!

So I decided to break out the carcass and get it simmering on veggies for some homemade stock. I don’t do this often, I typically take the lazy route and use the Swanson’s stuff. I also delved into the blogosphere a bit to see what folks are saying about making chicken stock. Holy cow — who woulda thunk there was so much to say about it?

But I was particularly interested in this posting — everything you EVER wanted to know about chicken stock. Enjoy! It’s definitely rated PG-13 for some frank discussions of chicken parts.