Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hello Lackland

Many of my facebook friends know my journey to join the Air National Guard and that from back in June of 2012 I got serious and contacted a recruiterand that led to enlisting in my dream career field.

Every drill weekend I worked even though I did not yet have a uniform and I have not gone to basic military training. Each weekend I spent with my unit I got more and more exited for it all to be real. A lot of people who heard about the job I was going into told me I was very lucky and I know now that is because my unit is very close knit, like a family. Everyone is so kind and willing to teach and learn from each other, no matter the rank. And although I didn't have my technical school training yet I was still welcomed into the training the unit would conduct and I was given the opportunity to get somewhat of a tiny leap into what tech school would teach me. What's even more exciting is how supportive my unit is and I know I will receive a letter or two while I'm in basic.

Now I'm at the day I have been waiting for. And it is scary as hell. I have never felt sick from nerves and stress but I know this is just the beginning. I know I have more advantages than most of my flight mates I will meet today and that is a little comforting. I am comfortable now with my physical fitness and I am more worried now of the emotional stress I will face. I can only hope that my past experience in military like activities will help me transform into the person I need to be in order to get through the next 8 weeks.  That is the only thing keeping me focused.

Since I signed the enlistment paperwork I knew that the hardest part of basic and tech school would be the separation from my husband. We have been inseparable for the for years we've been married, we do everything together. The past year we've even worked together. It will be so hard to realize I can't just walk to the other side of the building and see his face.

I think I've mentioned in another blog post before that I plan to journal my experience so that I can share it on this blog after I graduate. I brought my journal so I guess we'll see if it works. I have no idea how much personal time I will have to not only write in the journal but also write letters to loved ones.

Please look out on my facebook for my address where you can send me letters. My loving husband will post it for me. I'll try to write back to everyone.

On that note I will say good bye for now. I will not be able to post again until after I graduate. Most likely when I get to tech school. I am due to graduate basic March 8th and will be in tech school that next week. Love you all. Wish me luck :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

First Hand Earthquake Experience

Monday December 3, 2012 4:42pm Alaska Time
I was standing in my boss’s office answering questions regarding billing from months ago and I remember hearing the building making a slight squeaking noise before my boss stops the current conversation and says to me “5.2 earthquake ready?” and before I could clarify what he had just said the ground under my feet started moving. I have heard people describing how it shakes but this felt more like a swaying motion. This was not my first earthquake to experience but the strongest. The first was a 4.6 I believe and that did shake. This larger one however was the most adrenaline pumping experience because in the middle of it I had no idea how long it was going to last, if it was going to get stronger, or what would happen to things around me as they also shook. I felt like I was riding a mechanical bull and had to move with the motion of the earth or else I was sure to lose my footing. It did not last long, although it felt like a few minutes it only lasted a few seconds. When it was done I look at my boss with a face that must have said “how did you know?” and he jokingly said I am an earthquake whisperer. I had found out later from others who have lived in the state a while that you can hear it coming. Not sure if that is true and I am not sure if that is what I heard when the building was squeaking right before.
A fun story and an interesting experience to share.  

On another note I leave for Idaho vaycay Sunday 1am. To see my dad retire from the air force. So proud!

Friday, November 30, 2012

This next month in a nutshell

At this point I am starting to think that boot camp and tech school will be a vacation. It has been so crazy between preparing to leave, working my full time job, and trying so hard to dedicate enough time to my Avon business.
The weekends are normally my time to regroup, clean the house, have some me time, and take care of my Avon stuff. But I do not think I will have a weekend again before I leave. Last weekend I worked at my full time job to make up a day that I will be gone for vacation in December, this weekend is drill (my last drill), next weekend I work to make up another day of vacation and that Sunday leave for vacation, then I am down in Idaho for my dad’s retirement for a week and when I return I have 3 weeks left to make sure everything is in order to go.
Bills are my main concern. Some I have to log on and pay online, some are transfers, some are automatic, and some are checks…. It seems like its chaotic and everywhere! I have taken a calendar and wrote down everything on it on the dates they are due and how to pay or if it is automatic. It’s not like Zeke doesn’t know how to pay them I just have things set up certain ways through my account and I just want to make sure I make it somewhat easy to handle. He will be going to school while I’m gone and keeping his full time job so the less complicated everything else is the better.
Then there is the issue of a POA. I don’t even know how that works or how to get one. I love my husband to death but there are some things I do not want him to be able to do as my POA and I have no idea how that works or if it can be regulated. Last thing I want to come home to is a sports car and a snow machine lol!
I will receive my “official” orders on the 19th during my out-processing brief. During this brief I will learn everything short of an address of where family and others to send mail. Just so that everyone knows I cannot broadcast on Facebook all the information I will get when I get to BMT. I can only call one person (Zeke) and he will post everything family/friends need to know somewhere to be determined. Maybe my Facebook, maybe his, I don’t know yet.
I came up with a pretty exciting idea so that I can share my experiences with my family, friends, and those preparing for BMT. I am not able to blog while in BMT but I can most certainly write in a journal. Right now I have a red journal with a heart on the front…. I am seriously contemplating getting a more “plain” one as to not attract too much attention to it. I am about 99% sure I am allowed to write in a journal during allotted “free time.” The same time we are allowed to write letters, read the bible, make our bed, fold our clothes, etc. Once in tech school or maybe even not until I return to Alaska I will scan the pages and post them on my blog and call them the “Boot Camp Diaries.” Neat idea huh? I hope I can make it work. I also do not want to post them all at once either, I want to spread it out, make it interesting and exciting.
I was talking with my husband the other night and asked him if he thought the military changed him. He told me he doesn’t think so. The reason I asked was because my grandfather, my father, and Zeke all do not think that the military changed them but the people around them say differently. In a way I want to change a little bit like I want to be less shy and be able to hold my own. Be more outgoing and less self conscious. But I am afraid of changing. I do not want to lose myself and the things that shape the person I know I am. Getting closer to this milestone in my life I have realized that going will happen and it is noting to be afraid of and I must embrace it in order to be able to endure the change I am going to experience. Zeke has told me to imagine it as summer camp. I have never been to a summer camp but it is a nice idea to try and think of it that way. It helps tremendously knowing that Zeke has done it and he admits that it was not that bad and he would do it again if it meant that he could be back in the military.
Besides all that I have been finding a little bit of time to read each day. Not as much as before so I have been on the same book for a while now. I am currently reading “The Book of the Dead” by Tom Knox and I like it. I really enjoy reading a good murder mystery but Tom Knox uses history and real locations in his griping stories with crazy twists and turns. It gets my conspiracy theory mind ticking in a fun way, not a crazy way. I am almost finished and I just hit a crazy twist that I never thought would happen and I kind of just sat there for a minute to soak in what I just read. Intense to say the least. The only con I would say that because of the historical and geographical references it makes it a little difficult to picture and understand. If I was reading an actual book and not my Kindle I would have a difficult time getting through it. Since I am able to touch words and a definition or a description pops up I am having an easier time with it. I also read Knox’s other book titled “Marks of Cain” and that was easier to understand and I felt like it was a little faster than this one I am reading now. I think when I am finished with this one I want to move on to “The Genesis Secret” also by Tom Knox. I enjoyed “The Da Vinci Code” because of the interesting references to the bible and the twists from it and “The Lost Symbol” also by Dan Brown that twisted historical and biblical references with a little bit of cult religion mixed in. “The Genesis Secret” sounds like a book with biblical twists that I might enjoy. Hopefully I will get to finish it before I leave. Sad I can’t take my kindle with me L

Friday, November 16, 2012

September seems so far away...

Time is ticking down and every day I am getting more and more nervous about BMT and tech school! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! There I feel better.
So last entry I briefly mentioned how September totally sucked well I think I have avoided that story long enough and I think I am strong enough to be able to write about it. If you are someone I regularly talk to you probably already know what this is about.
I have wanted to move to Alaska all my life but in the most recent years before actually making the move I knew I had to get here soon. The reason being is that I knew my grandparents have not been doing well and not to be morbid but I had a feeling it was only going to be a matter of time. My grandfather whom I have called papa since I could say papa was not obeying doctor’s orders to stop smoking and drinking and I only figured it was because he is a stubborn man who was not afraid of dying. In speaking with my grandmother before and since I have moved here he has become just angry and grumpy and mean to her. We all (as in family) figured it was his way of disconnecting so that we would not feel sad when he finally left us. We all should have know it was coming but earlier this year he went in to his doctor to get his pacemaker battery replaced. Well that seemed to fix it. He seemed faster, stronger, and almost in a better mood. Shortly after “the surge” ended and on September 4th, 2012 around one in the afternoon I received a call from my Aunt and I just could not believe what she was telling me. All she could get out was that grandpa had died and she was so distressed that my Uncle had to take over the phone call and tell me what happened. I have experienced loss only once before but it was when I was young and did not understand what to feel or the sorrow of others around me. But when I got this phone call my whole body was shaking and by the time I got off the phone I could not speak let alone hold back my raging tears. I walked to my husband who thank goodness works in the same building, and tried so hard to tell him what happened. Understanding, he walked me to our truck and told me to stay there and call my father. I could not get a hold of him so I called my mother so that she could relay the information. Shortly my husband returned to the truck with my things and said that he had told my boss and his that we would be out for a few days because we had a death in the family. We drove to our home and gathered some things to drive 3 hours to my grandparent’s property. We met up with my Aunt and Uncle at their house to help them and set out. When we arrived papa’s body was already taken and my grandmother was in tears. She told us her story. She came home in the afternoon to find him slumped in his chair and thought he was sleeping. When she went to get him up to go to the bed where he would be more comfortable he was cold to the touch and was not responding. She immediately called 911 and was able to get him down to the floor to administer CPR. Unfortunately it did not do anything and she was so distraught when the EMTs arrived that at first she would not let them take him. Everything after hearing the story seemed like a blur. I remember my father getting to the property, going to the funeral home to see my grandfather, driving back to Anchorage, picking up my mother and siblings, going to the memorial, then finally the funeral. Anything between these events were all jumbled.
I miss him greatly and always will. It is still very difficult to deal with the reality of not being able to talk to him or see him again. It is hard to imagine not seeing someone you expected to be there all the time.
A very sad blog post but in a way I feel relieved. I am normally a person who is open about my emotions but for the first time I did not want to show my sadness I felt and still feel. This is my way of dealing with the loss and hey it is a new day and age where this is acceptable.
Thank you all for the support and care I received during this very difficult time.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Yayyyyy Book Reviews!!!!

Last time I updated my blog (a month ago…explanation later) I said I was reading Crossover by Joel Shepherd and although it was full of a lot of interesting ideas I feel like I could not wrap my head around the authors futuristic world. I am not saying it lacked a depiction of the world and the characters in it I simply believe that Joel’s ideas were so sci-fi and he used a lot of scientific language that made it difficult to picture what he meant. Because of this I was less interested in reading the book, especially when there were so many others I was interested in getting to. I got far enough to understand that the main character is a bioengineered super soldier that is the “test product” if you will, separates from her other counterparts that did not possess a human like will. The idea was to give these robot soldiers free thinking minds so that they would be able to asses various situations without the help of a human pilot or controller. Cassandra (the main character) backfires against her creators and “runs away” to try and live a normal life like a regular human being. She is hunted for her amazing scientific worth and I got as far as the rebellion getting a hold of her and is putting her on trial to decide if she is even capable to live a normal life or if she is better off to be “decommissioned” and taken apart for scientific study and to keep her from the hands of “The Federation” which is possibly the government in this world.
I do not think I can fairly rate this book since I did not finish it. So I left a description for the set up of the book without revealing any spoilers so that either later I can finish or if someone has happened to finish this book and can tell me if it is worth trying again.
I also read Fifty Shades of Grey and honestly this book has enough hype for me to skip my review besides maybe a few remarks that I just have to point out that I hadn’t heard from the raves all over the internet and social media. I feel like the main character needed more self confidence, even when she had the desire of this very handsome, young, rich man right in front of her for the WHOLE book she still had the same pitiful lack of self confidence from the first page……. WTF. Also I am somewhat disappointed in that I feel like there was no set up for the second book whatsoever! Many might disagree with me but I personally don’t see any kind of interesting storyline that could come from the way the author ended this book. Therefore I am that much LESS interested in reading the next book. There, I feel better. I would rate this book with a C. I liked the heart pounding porn-like scenes, made me feel dirty reading it but what the heck. And I already noted the reasons that I didn’t like it.
Now for the two books that I have read over the past month or so that I really did like. First I read Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and I have to say I was a little skeptical when I read a synopsis and didn’t really understand what kind of story it was but right away in reading it I was pulled in. Throughout the entire story I was encased in the story and it seemed like often I was surprised and twisted in my views of each character. Well worth my time and I give this book an A for creativity, character development, and story twists/ unpredictability.
I also read my first James Patterson book Private Games. I had downloaded a free preview of the first 16 chapters and I just had to purchase the whole e-book. That says a lot because I am always looking for free books and I now have at least 30 if not more books on my Kindle that I have found for free. I am now a big fan of murder mystery and I am now looking for the next edge of my seat, screaming at my Kindle telling the main character to “get out while you can!”, OMG speechless moments, kind of book. This book was set around the 2012 Olympic London Games and the games are targeted by a serial killer who calls himself Coronus after the Greek god who devours his children. He is targeting whoever has “disgraced” the Olympics and shows his disgust for the modern Olympics versus the ancient Olympic games. It is up to Private detective Peter Knight to find this killer before he kills his next victim in front of the whole world. I loved Patterson’s writing and I am now a big fan and understand why he is always on the top sellers list. I think instead of following this series, my next James Patterson book will be one I keep seeing everywhere on the top sellers this week. It will be either “I, Michael Bennett” or “Zoo.” All in all, since this book had me turning pages like crazy and I actually felt a rush when reading it when the anticipation of what would happen next got to me, I would have to give this book an A+.
I am currently reading The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch which is a translated version of a German book interestingly enough. It is about a little village that is troubled when a small boy is found stabbed to death and a witches mark found on his back. It is set in medieval times when witches are believed to exist and when the villagers seethe witches mark on the small boy they break down the door to the villages midwife who is accused of witchcraft. This book follows the hangman of the village who believes that the midwife is innocent and therefore investigates the murder of the small boy and later other children in order to avoid burning the midwife at the stake. This book was slow going at first but I like the how the author took the view of the hangman instead of any other villager. I have not heard of many books like this one and I also have not heard of anything about the life of a hangman and what his position in the village is like. I am currently a little half way through the book and it is getting so close to finding out who is the real murderer and if he will be caught in time before the midwife and others are burned as witches.

I plan to post again shortly on the events of September, a lot happened that will change my life forever. Some things need to be said because I cannot keep these things locked away like I have. Some will understand and others will not. I was one of those who didn’t get it before last month.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mini Pot Pies! Whaaattt!

I recently finished Graceling and I have to say it was an easy read that I should have finished within a week but it was not gripping enough to me to keep my attention most days. I do think it was a great book just not amazing. I enjoyed the plot and the bad ass heroine type that I enjoyed in Divergent and Hunger Games. It did take me a while to get all the characters, family ties, and kingdoms down since it seemed they were all introduced and explained in the first few chapters. It was a lot to handle. It is a good read but I would not put it on the top of the list if there are others out there that you have more of a desire to read. This is one for a boring, rainy, have nothing else to do, type of day.

I am currently reading Crossover by Joel Shephard which reminds me of a Jason Borne type of plot line. And again, I cannot help myself but to pick the books with the bad ass heroine. I did not read much about this book before picking it up all I remember is seeing it in a magazines recommended reading list. It was slow starting off and trying to understand who the main character is and why she acts the way she does. Now into the third chapter or so it has picked up and I am starting to understand more about the girl who has several different aliases and I am now learning that she is a super soldier robot built by the government. She is a prototype given cognitive thought and therefore has decided that she no longer wants to be a killing machine. This is a sci-fi book and I thought nothing of it until I ran into a lot of scientific terms and ideas I had to read over a few times to understand what the author is saying. I am not far enough into it to say that it is worth the time and effort but I don’t like not finishing the book without knowing how it will end.

I do have Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter on hold at the library. Every copy was checked out and I thought the hype from the movie would cause a longer wait list and I did not expect it so quickly. I am tempted to try and read both novels at the same time but that might be confusing.

I am now officially an airman (that’s so sexist, I wish I could say airwoman…) in the Air National Guard and I just had my first drill weekend. My excuse for not blogging sooner since I have been working the past two weeks straight. On Saturday I reported to the gym at 0745 and started with the “modified” pt test. After a warm up and stretches we started with one minute push-ups. I did 20 J, 18 is the requirement to pass the BMT pt test. Then one minute sit ups. I did 37, one from the 38 requirement to pass BMT pt test. Technically I passed the AF pt test because the standards are different from the BMT test. The test was modified because they only had us run one mile instead of the 1.5 miles required for the AF pt test. I did well and at my pace I would have passed the 1.5 mile to AF standards but not BMT standards. I know I need work but I am proud of my endurance. The last time I could run a mile without walking was ninth grade so yay me! After our test we did a team building exercise where we were split into teams and our task was to build a launcher and a catcher out of the given supplies to launch and catch erasers effectively. My team did fairly well and worked together to almost win the challenge. After this we did a 30 minute workout consisting of running laps, squats, sit ups, push ups, and jumping jacks. I liked this type of workout because it was challenging to keep going and pushing myself but I was able to go at my own pace and not at some incredibly fit officer pace. We ended at 1045 and were told to shower and change and be ready by 1100! I had to choose drying my hair over doing my make-up, I guess I will have to get used to quick, cold showers… We then drove to the chow hall for lunch until 1145 because we had to be across base for briefings at 1200. I then sat in a newcomers briefing until 1600. What a long day.. So this is how my Saturdays will be like on drill weekends. On Sunday I was to be at my unit but I was unsure of what time to be there. I know they open at 0800 so I figured the earlier I am, the better. I showed up at 0715 which was smart because I got to meet everyone and attend the morning briefing by the first sergeant and the unit commander. I was awestruck when the officers intermingled with the enlisted. I was expecting a type of segregation. I also noticed how kind everyone is and how they are all like one big family and was very quick to include me as one of their own. The new airmen fresh out of tech school were eager to share their basic stories and tips and tricks for basic and tech school.  They also included me in everything and offered me to sit in on their daily duties. When it was lunch time, and before I even knew it was time to go to lunch, they asked if I wanted to tag along to the chow hall. I learned a lot and this was the first time I was absolutely sure of my choice and I am so excited for every drill weekend. The normal drill day at the Med Group starts at 0730 with a briefing then we all get ready to open at 0800. Then we can have several duties ranging from taking vitals, taking blood, conducting eye tests, giving shots, etc. We do this until 1200 and then break for lunch until 1300. Then for the rest of the day we train. When I was there they played a jeopardy game consisting of study material from their CDCs. I love that they are given an opportunity to study at work. I think it is smart and since we are only there once a month it is important to train, learn, and prepare to grow and excel.  

Here is a few awesome recipes I have tried over the weekend.

Breakfast Pumpkin Muffins

This is a weightwatchers’ diet I found on Pinterest. Only two ingredients and twenty minutes in the oven! Whhaaattt!

All you need is a box of yellow cake mix and a can of pumpkin. I accidently bought the pumpkin pie can but it worked out great anyway. Mix the two together and fill up muffin cups ½ to ¾ full and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Zeke ate these babies up! They taste just like pumpkin pie J

I also found an amazing mini chicken pot pie recipe on Pinterest. Its quick and you can change it up and create all kinds of fillings to work with this idea.

Bottom step 1, middle step 2, top step 3
First I boiled some chicken breasts and when they were finished I cut them up and put it into a bowl with mixed frozen veggies. What I should have done then was create a gravy to mix in with the chicken and veggies but it didn’t mention anything like that online and I didn’t think about how dry they would be until after they were cooked. Anyway I then mixed the bisquick or pancake mix and put about a tablespoon in each muffin tin. Then I topped it with the mixture until the tin is just about full. Try not to over fill it, I did and it got messy when I went to add the rest of the pancake mix. I top the mixture with another tablespoon of pancake mix then put it in the oven at 350for 25 minutes. Once they were finished I noticed they were dry and so I heated up some chicken broth and added some pancake mix to create gravy and topped the mini pie with that gravy. Yummmm! And I have plenty of leftovers for lunch tomorrow! Bonus!
Done! Just have to add gravy

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Outlander Final Review and Next Read

So I have finally finished Outlander and right away I would give it a B-. I wanted to rate it in this way because I was an interesting read and a great idea but it did have quite a lot of slow parts to it making it difficult to get through. It seemed to make up for most of the slow part with periods of intense heart pounding pages and at some points I wanted to scream or even cry. I do not want to spoil the book and so I will not tell you anything about the story beyond what I have already in my previous post except that the ending seemed appropriate and left the reader guessing just a little bit. I do recommend this book to those who are looking for an interesting read but this is a book that can be put on the back burner if there is something better that you have been waiting to get your hands on. If you like unexpected twists and romantic triangles I think you will like Outlander.
My next read is Graceling by Kristin Cashore. I have already purchased it on my android Kindle app and I started it over the weekend. Cari has already finished this one and has also posted a review on her blog at. Check it out. Going off her review I already agree with her in that getting the imagery of the characters in my head is difficult because Cashore describes so many at once. It is also hard to imagine family lines when she explains them. I feel that she is quick and I have trouble following but other than that I like it so far. I have not gone far enough to get some background on the main character and I am hoping the book will get to that. It seems like a very different writing style and it takes some getting used to. This is also a quick read for someone who is looking for something to last them a week or two, but sometimes that makes it seem over too quick. I felt that way with Hunger Games and I had to search for something else to feed my “reading withdraws.”