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.

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.

I know...the top of this plastic rack of drawers is sagging terribly.

As the school year wraps up around here (my boys finish on June 8th) I’ve started thinking about sorting and storage of the boys’ school papers. I’m sure other school systems are similar in that the kids bring home volumes of paperwork: completed worksheets, tests, readings, PTO newsletters, classroom newsletters, announcements about summer camps, sports, and special charity events in the community. This all takes PAPER!!

I can’t keep everything obviously. In part because I have enough “stuff” in the house, but mostly because when it’s time for us to move, we have to account for any extra weight over and above the allowances the Air Force gives us. So I have to pick and choose what’s worth keeping forever, and what’s worth tossing — also forever.

Trying to figure out what stays and what goes....

When the boys were in preschool, my friend FotoMom taught me I could staple together two pieces of posterboard to make a portfolio-like envelope. This easily held the papers as well as the larger pieces of artwork. I have these stored in our shed in the backyard, and we’re toting those from house to house. To be honest, I haven’t accessed a single one of those envelopes once the boys’ school years end…but I’ll continue to carry them from house to house.

What say you? Help me strike a comfortable medium between keeping the special stuff and not overwhelming the moving folks with seemingly extraneous paperwork!!!

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!

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!

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.

31. October 2011 · Comments Off on Veteran’s Day Deals for 2011 · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

My military spouse blogger friend at Wife of a Sailor has published a thorough list of military promotions for Veteran’s Day.  This list had circulated among currently-serving servicemembers’ e-mail accounts this past week.

Check out the list here!

You’ll see that many businesses actually offer their promotions year round (such as Anheuser-Busch theme parks, Lowe’s, and Home Depot) and the National Park Service’s Veteran’s Day weekend promotion is for everyone.