Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hungry at the Commissary

It's so dangerous to be grocery shopping while hungry. Today, I was hungry in the commissary. Truly, the commissary is a wonderful place with a nice slice of organic products and a delightful selection of items from around the world to cater to the military personnel's tastes acquired overseas. Not initially hungry, the items in my cart stuck to the list until I got to the section at the end of the store - the bakery, cheeses, frozen foods area... This is what made its way into my cart that wasn't on the list: two Ben & Jerry's pints (Phish food and Creme Brulee), Blue Bell Moolinium Crunch, fresh baked kaiser rolls, applewood smoked gouda, and sparkling organic pear juice. I stopped myself before mint truffle filled hersey kisses jumped in my cart, but it was tough. When I got home, I had a stunning lunch of honeybaked deli ham on a fresh baked kaiser roll with dill havarti cheese (a tasty throw back to Wenonah's days), a few slices of smoked gouda, sparkling pear juice, and a taste of each Ben & Jerry's pint for dessert. It was awesome! I wish each one of you a delightful "wasn't on the list" post-grocery shopping meal too!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Couch!

So... the new couch arrived!!!!!!! YES! Our main reason for doing the DITY move has finally come! Rob and I are so pleased! I felt a little awkward when I found I couldn't understand the southern accents of the delivery guys - "they're speaking English! What is going on?!?" He asked for my "sneaker" and I was very confused until he pointed to his clipboard that needed my signature! OH!

Now, you may be wondering, "what on earth became of your old couch, McKay?" The sits-on-bricks $20-for-the-couch-plus-loveseat at a garage sale 8 years ago, the garage couch of the Carter Creek house, the "Love Nest" of the Apartment of Fun? Well, I'm thrilled to relay that I called our new church and a high school small group had been praying for a couch for about 4 months! YAY! Thus, the old couch can begin a new life at church! (I didn't tell them we used to call it the "Love Nest")

Friday night, the couples in the F-15C class (leaving out the 1 single guy - sorry Brent!) got together at the Clark's and hung out. It was nice to just hang out as a class. Saturday, we went to the Squadron's Skull Party. The 95th is the Boneheads (thus the Skull Party) and at the party they pass the skull to the next host, who must host a party within the next 95 days. I do love fighter squadron traditions! And Sunday, some of the awesome ladies got together at Sweet Tease, which is this gem of a restaurant! It's a bakery with Sunday brunch and sweets, coffees, and (da da dada!...) eggs benedict!!... with their famous crab cakes in lieu of pork! Very tasty! I am SO happy we found this place! We're definitely going back! *sigh* Last night was the squadron wives coffee where we enjoyed some amazing food and shared our holiday traditions! I shared that our family does steak dinner on Christmas Eve and they all thought that was so "Texan." :-) Then, today, I broke out the multi-colored Fiestaware and had girls over for tea and scones! SO fun!

Really the last two weeks have just been delightful! Between the long weekend I got with Rob and the lovely girl socials, it's been great!

OH! Also, we got in the last of our DITY move purchases - the Playstation 3! I'm slowly learning to be better at Guitar Hero and Rob is just in heaven!

The weather here is getting colder- it's about 56 degrees today and I have the windows open a little - it's nice. Still love living at the beach - it's just gettin' a little chilly! I just finished my landscaping! Rob trimmed the bushes and I cleared the beds and planted snapdragons, impatients, pansies, mexican heather, and a couple others. We'll see how they work out! Regardless, I'm so much happier when I pull into a house with flowers!

I'll leave you with some pics of my favorite cool decorating things:

shelf of neat glass bottles

vintage travel posters

old hooks from Canton as dishtowel hangers

neat wire basket hung as fruit basket

washboard in laundry area

vintage fan (great flea market buy) in kitchen

wine cork board with "I love Rob" note :-)

more vintage hooks!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

$35 a Tank, We go

Long weekends are awesome: Friday was "War Day", basically a big game that students like myself don't get to play in, Tuesday is Veteran's Day so we don't work, and Monday in between was "Wingman Sports Day", which is a day for the 325th Wing to hang out, do whatever because it isn't technically a holiday. So Friday I had to go to class in the morning and when I was done my truck was gone, missing, not where I left it. So my first thought is: "What the heck? Who in the world would sneak onto an Air Force base to steal a vehicle and decide that the '93 Chevy half ton with 221000 miles on it would be the one to take?" After a couple of angry minutes a friend located my wife's car which contained keys. So McKay had received her new couch and needed to take the old one away and needed a truck. She was going to leave a message on my phone about the location of my truck, her car, the keys to her car and how much she loves me. However as she dialed she discovered that my phone is in the truck as usual. The rest of the day I was not in communication with her so I didn't know where she went or why she stole my truck. Saturday we went to downtown Panama City for the farmers market which turned out to be two farmers and a cart. We met an elderly couple with a 195 pound Irish Wolf Hound that made Gus look small (biggest dog breed in the world). We had breakfast at a little diner and finished off the day fishing at the marina. I say finished the day because it freakin' gets dark at 5PM. We drove down to Port St. Joe for Mexican food, BINGO, we found Mexican food, Ha Ha hA. Finally we live near good Mexican food that is not in danger of closing. Sunday we went to the boat store to discover that they ordered the wrong part for us to finish our boat, so one more week waiting. Monday started with a "fun run" down the runway and the chance to share my feelings with my fellow pilots until mid-morning. I temped McKay with a road trip and she couldn't resist. For the first time in four years gas is cheap enough that we can just go for a drive. We started going north to Wewhahitchka, home of the famous honey makers L.L. Lanier. We were expecting to find a happy place with a tour led by a jolly fat guy in a "Bee Wrangler" hat, where we could meet the bees and see production in action. Not so. Instead we threaded the truck through a thin drive way in the hedge with a very "Go home!" feel. We exit the tunnel into a clearing cluttered with sheds, 50 gallon drums, random engine parts, and some skittish dogs. Very, very redneck. So this guy who looks like a Hawaiian linebacker with thinning hair trundles out of one of the sheds to call off the dog and then stares at us like we should know what to do. Hidden in the overgrowth is a 1920's farm style house and a creepy old lady, also staring, standing at the door. This is obviously the place to go, but neither man nor creepy lady seems to welcome us, or help us, or even really acknowledge our presence. My wife, hoping to see the "bee tour", expectantly and politely fished for information from the creepy old lady. As it turns out the honey is special because the bees use nectar from a plant that grows only in the Chattahoochee River swamp, this is a really busy time of year for shipping the honey (hence the big guy), and they don't keep bees at the house, give tours, smile, or like other people. So we got our honey and left. Driving south we decided to see the swamp where the bees get the goods and driving down the dirt roads of back water Florida we found a bear, yes, a BEAR! He was in a hurry so we didn't get a picture, but he was a black bear about my size. We took the long way out to St. George's Island where we walked the beach and let Gus play fetch in the surf. We returned along the causeway to Apalachicola for their famous oysters. The downtown area is cluttered with historic buildings filled with cute eateries and antiques. We stopped for a cappuccino and enjoyed the seaside town ambiance. The area is a lot like Galveston would be if Houston was somewhere else. We then strolled down to the water front where Boss Oyster bar serves oysters that they just brought off their boat. We had a couple dozen raw oysters and watched the Chattahoochee delta fade in the sunset. Monday evening we joined the guys from school at Buffalo Wild Wings where during Monday Night Football they hand out free beer as long as no one goes into the restroom. They all had stories of greatness, "One time my buddy was here and nobody went to the bathroom until the 4th quarter was half over and the whole restaurant was trashed." After hearing such tales of greatness we were expecting a spectacle, but 3 minutes into halftime an old man who didn't even know about the contest walked into the bathroom to wash his hands and cut the night extremely short, and the whole bar was mad. But to put icing on the cake we had the worst waitress I have ever had. She couldn't remember who ordered what, she gave me (and charged me for) a huge beer because they were out out of the small glasses, for some reason I got my meal 30 minutes before the rest of the table even though I ordered last, and topped it all with a mandatory 17.5% gratuity. All in all it was a great weekend of relaxing adventure.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Livin' on the Edge

So, we live on the edge of the central time zone. All those friends in Texas - don't worry about any time change when you call! We can actually drive about 20 minutes and we're in the next time zone (FYI, that's where we sometimes take Gus to the beach because lots of the beaches around us are not dog friendly). But that means that now with daylight savings time, the sun sets at 5! And then it gets DARK! It's 5:15 right now and I can't see outside anymore! It's so weird. Rob and I are both fairly solar-powered so this is an adjustment for us.

Saturday, I went to do yoga on the beach with a group that meets once a month. It was SO nice! The beach was serene, the weather was PERFECT, and the yoga was fun. The instructor's wife took pictures!

Beach Pose

Me! in the blue tank top

Standing Tree Pose in the water - more difficult than it sounds and a very fun challenge!

Later that afternoon, Rob and I went to the beach on the other side of base (the one in the next time zone) and had a very relaxing time (pictures below). Then, I'm proud to say, Rob seduced me the rest of the evening with wine and a bubble bath. My husband rocks!

Lots of shells

Our beautiful dog

My hand at artsy photography

He's so awesome
The yummy oysters we can get (so good and so fresh) any day here! This is what we ate for dinner.

After the last church visiting (I was so traumatized *sigh*), we were ready to not be visitors anymore. We liked St. Andrews Baptist enough and decided on it as our new church home (the one with the mullet-clad worship leader and the Sunday school class full of peers). It was nice to just go to church and not be evaluating it trying to decide if it's the right place for us! They are going through 2 Samuel and the life of David which is awesome - Rob has always wanted to make an epic action movie about David. He's explained it to me and it's totally awesome! I can't wait!

Yesterday, I went to Wal Mart because I usually plan the house meals on Monday and the commissary is closed on Mondays (I tried to adjust my schedule, but I just can't) and I truly feel that Wal Mart has brainwashed me. When I didn't go to Wal Mart on a regular basis, I could scoff and ridicule it's long lines and unhelpful employees. But, now that it's been my regular store in Wichita Falls, I actually feel a warm fuzzy when I go there! ACK! Who AM I? So, watch out everyone! It will suck you in!

And, very awesome blogger, Tyne, has requested my all-purpose cleaning solution recipe and here it is! With proper credit that I got it from my semi-hippy friend Joy! Much love!

50/50 vinegar and water in a spray bottle (I used my old 409 bottle) Then, put as many drops of your choice of essential oils as makes you happy. I used about 50 drops of lemon (I added at different times until I liked it) and maybe 40 drops of grapefruit (gives it a nice, more interesting clean citrus smell)