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Take a Napa & Go to Napa.

PEN&INK. You know, writing is always in the back of my mind. Updating. How could it not be? I’ve been doing it seventeen years. Most of my life. I like to write to explain things. I like to write to understand things. I like to write to have a chronicle of life. “What did I do in 2004? What did I feel? What did I learn?” and I can pull up a digital index of everything. Things I’ve forgotten. Things I maybe wanted to forget, and had… but my digital brain doesn’t forget.

So I am updating when I can, when I want to. So many good things are happening all at once; or maybe my outlook has changed on how I approach everything that happens. I think it’s the latter. I guess most people can recreate the years with a Facebook page, or a Twitter feed. That’s fine, but very limited… you physically can’t type more than 140 characters at a time on Twitter: fragmented thoughts. And who has ultimate control over a Facebook or Twitter? I am proud to own my writings in my own online space and archives.

Pfft, let’s be real. Haven’t updated lately because of Witcher 3 & a replay of Dragon Age: Inquisition. It happens.


Geralt, you magnificent bastard.

MSCP & SANFRAN. Get this: I’m six months into my Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology. When did that happen? I also went to San Francisco last month to attend the Couples Conference, a professional conference for those practicing counseling or psychology. It was also a thinly-veiled excuse to get over to the West Coast and tour Napa Valley. Which we did. Highlights of the trip include a really lovely wine-tasting and tour at ZD Wines, and lunch at Auberge du Soleil. We stayed at the historic Ledson Hotel while in Napa, right in the heart of downtown Sonoma. We spent a few days in San Francisco while I attended the conference, and also hoofed it around the city. FitBit says 20,000+ steps and 90+ floors climbed & I believe it. Good thing I wore a fancy jacket to dinner at Gary Danko so you couldn’t see my armpit sweat stains after a 45-minute hike.

The counseling conference was pretty stellar. Many different workshops and speakers were offered… and because it was San Francisco, it ranged from “Crystals & Auras” to actual Neuroscience. Most of the attendees were older and looked like this. That’s from Meet the Fockers for the uninitiated. They were even selling those kinds of clothes there. I thought I was smart and looked smart in my Hillary-esque pant suit, but I kinda stuck out. Anyway, Esther Perel regulated on modern relationships and not expecting your partner to fulfill every role in your life. Preach. Anyway, it was enlightening to see a West Coast Party. Bet the East Coast Party would include information on Freud, prescribing Dyziplen, and how to embrace being miserable. I jest. I think.

When this masters brouhaha is all said and done, I’m probably going to round robin right into the VA or on-base mental health clinics. B-52 Radar Navigator… instant rapport. I know how the military works, I know what it can put families through, and I know how to sift the story from the chaff. I had a hard time relating to the mental health clinic I went to before my first deployment: The clinician looked no older than 24. What did she know about deployments, or what I was experiencing? She went to college, got her masters, and here she is. What experiences has she had? I was so angry and frustrated that she couldn’t possibly understand. Now I know how to help. Frame that Honorable Discharge on the wall and we good.

ROTARY. I’ve joined my local Rotary Club; I think I’m the youngest member. No shame. It’s a small club, rather than the large Shreveport one. I figure I can make more of a difference and develop closer friends in a smaller club for the time I have left here… about two years (until I finish my degree and can leave this area). Anyway, I noticed the web site needs an update (very circa 2002), and there were no social outlets besides a Facebook that isn’t updated regularly. So, naturally, I took over the social media job. I made a Twitter and Instagram, and the Facebook is connected in to receive updates. Take that, Millenials… I do know how to use Twitter! But I still don’t see the point besides news agencies to distribute news fast. Oh well. We are in the game now.

I am still disappointing my piano teacher, but it’s always great fun going to lessons. Still visiting my elderly friends each Saturday, too. I had an idea to maybe do something like “painting with a twist,” but with a patriotic eagle or something. I asked one of the residents if they would enjoy a painting workshop and she said no. Welp, there’s that. Lastly, I baked “Lavender Honey Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Icing” from this hippie dippy book Larry bought. I almost followed the recipe but I got bored and improvised. My birthday is tomorrow and I’m gonna be 31. Eating this cupcake.

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It’s Thursday.

GALA. I am getting pretty pumped for this 1940’s fundraising gala next weekend. It’s all for a good cause to support the local Shreveport Symphony. There’s going to be live entertainment from the ladies of the New Orleans WWII museum and era music. I talked to the event coordinator yesterday and she wants to put together a slideshow tribute to those who have served in the military, and/or their family members. I also sent her some links on YouTube to the fabulous Parov Stelar in case she hadn’t heard of him; the music is great for “retro parties” when you don’t always want all period music. Even as a huge collector of vintage music, I get weary of back to back Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey at “theme parties”. Plus, as I stress to people who ask me about how to obtain that perfect party atmosphere, I share that you and your guests are really only going to hear the bass and beat, and just snippets of the brass or vocals every now and then. So, the Parov Stelar does the trick, for sure.

Larry’s wearing his Air Force blue service dress, and I’m wearing 1940’s styling: dress, shoes, makeup, hair, back-seam stockings. It should be a blast and we get to meet new people who also love & support the arts in our community. I still have to dig out the shoes (I wore ’em for prom! The linked photos are out of the archives to show you. An ancient blog has its perks; any photo you can think of is stored somewhere on my server. Nice.

SKILLS. A big goal of mine since having a little more time on my hands has been to work on my updo game. In the past few months, I’ve taught myself how to French Braid, work with foam hair “rats” to create serious volume, finagle a sock bun, and tweak/clean up styles I’ve previously rocked. I’ve been taking some photos to share; I apologize that the quality isn’t top notch. Anyway, here are my styles: I am pretty proud of my handiwork! Which do you like best?

The new season of House of Cards premiers on Netflix this weekend. We already watch Vikings, so I’m glad that’s back again. Lagertha is my life inspiration.

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Hello (again), world!

I am writing this on a perfect Friday afternoon. 70° and sunny. I have a lot of good things to share with the world.

NEW TITLES. I updated twice last year; that is pathetic. However, with everything going on — you know how it is… the busier you are and the more great things you’re doing, the less you have time or thought to write it all down. Funny how that works. I did change the title of the blog to a “there’s no dress rehearsal” mentality to life. Drafting Present means your only “rough draft” is what we are doing right now, presently. There’s no final, polished result unless you live it that way. So, it changed to Drafting Present from my aviation theme, which I no longer have an active role in…

NEW BEGINNINGS. For big mentions, I have officially changed careers from a B-52H weapons systems officer to a full-time Masters student. As I write this, a B-52 is flying overhead at 1,000 ft over my house. Do I miss it? Nope. It was a good run, folks. I got to travel all over the world, and even land in some awesome places. Most notable were Guam, Alaska, and Las Vegas. If I told you about all the cool places I flew over, well, I’d probably have to kill you. Ha. No, seriously. Ha!

Overall, the military was good to me. I paid off student loans with a great career right out of college, lived in interesting places (San Antonio, TX; North Dakota…), got a husband out of it, earned Veteran’s status, and they pay you to return to school for more education. Speaking of which, I am enrolled in the Masters of Science program at Louisiana State University to gain my certification as a Counselor. I think “Life Coach” or “Life Consultant” would be looking pretty good on a business card once it’s all said and done. I am just a couple weeks into the program and they really like us to “give presentations.” The Air Force helped with that, too. Overall, the military said, “What do you want to do? You can be anything now that you’re done and we will pay for it.” So here I am. Turned in my military ID last week for a “dependent ID”. It’s a transition to deal with no longer having that sweet officer title. Now people assume I have five kids and stay at home eating candy when I am introduced as my husband’s spouse. But one day I will have a P.h.D. and won’t care anymore. Dr. and Major. Feels good.

Next weekend I am heading over to visit Devin in Pensacola, Florida. He teaches brand new Lieutenants how to survive in the aircraft. There were rumblings of a cocktail party at this place: he knows how much I love parties! And, he has a sweet bachelor pad and is just minutes from the beach. And speaking of beach, Larry is heading to Hawaii tomorrow for a business trip. For his birthday. He has all the luck. Didn’t get him a gift. Sorry not sorry.

NEW SKILLS. During my two months of “down time” between separating from the military and beginning school full time, I’ve been working on a few skills. I can bake bread like a professional, and I’m pretty good with beautiful hair creations (up do’s) now, too. I am also taking piano lessons from the best teacher ever! He is helping me with theory. I am still visiting my elderly folks at the rest home on Saturdays. Last week I learned one gentleman was in the Battle of the Bulge. You never know who you are talking to.

I have a feeling these two years will fly by. I hope I can hang on and enjoy the ride, and the impending move that is sure to follow, if not sooner. For now, I’ll drink lots of coffee, sport my white girl yoga pants, and enjoy this opportunity to focus on school. Oh, and the trip to San Francisco/Napa Valley to attend to a Counseling conference. These people have the right idea.