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Going Forward in Reverse

IMG_0301Cue “something, something, whale noises.” Totally metal.

Things have been happy and healthy around here. And by happy I mean incredibly busy with school, volunteering, and the revelation that I will be moving in December. Where, you ask? Not sure yet. Ask Uncle Sam. He may know, but he’s not telling me yet.

Fair enough, and so it goes. Although the chart toppers were Honolulu, Washington D.C., and Virginia Beach, let’s face it: Wyoming or Oklahoma are the most likely outcomes with my track record. But you know what? I’d like to think there would be immunity from North Dakota… but nothing is written.

Man, I’m all over these quotes today.

Fotor148918534056038_99a3fbca-5c10-4251-a571-024ac835c2b5Anyway, staying positive over here. In fact, there has been too many episodes of “My Island Life” and “House Hunters” about Hawaii and Washington, D.C. going on in this house. It’s always fun to dream, but as the last 10 years of military moving experiences dictate, one must be aware of the gravity of 100 people duking it out Celebrity Death Match style for one placement at Honolulu… or any place not Kansas.

As for healthy, I’m back in the gym! I do lead a fairly healthy lifestyle, but there’s always room for improvement. I got a really cute exercise and food planner from Fox & Moon and am loving the organization of everything. It’s so calming to me to know my plan and stick to it. Takes out the guess work.

I’ve been updating my Instagram quite a bit these days. I know the feed shows up below, but most fashion and lifestyle pics will be displayed there.

I returned from Central Florida this past Sunday. My grandmother passed away recently and I flew over there for her memorial service. During the service, I played the piano and my sister sang. FullSizeRender-8I was very proud that she was able to do such a great job: my job was easy. I can concentrate on music and not have to look at anyone, much less talk or sing. It was a beautiful celebration of life ceremony and I’m so happy I could give a little music back to Grandma. I also got some great time with my extended family, including an early birthday celebration at the Chart House in Melbourne. Dolphin watching was beautiful, as was the sunset, casting orange and pink hues across the Indian River.

Funny thing is, each time I visit Florida with Larry, we have some amazing wildlife experiences. On his first trip to Cocoa Beach, we witnessed about sixty Green Sea Turtles hatching and crawling to shore. This trip, we saw manatees. He must think Florida is this idyllic place, chock full of unique flora & fauna. I guess it really is. Nothing like a few years—all right, a decade—in the Central Time Zone to help you realize your good fortune.

Continue reading “Going Forward in Reverse”

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Road Trip Souvenirs

TINY DOGS. In biggest news, after a three-week road trip, I brought back a tiny Dachshund puppy for a souvenir. Of course, she is more than just a souvenir. She is now a distinguished, important member of our family and household. Anyway, we adopted her from the same breeder as Otto… and four of my mom’s Dachshunds. Say no to puppy mills! She has disapproving eyebrows and a tiny bark.

Speaking of road trip, I packed up the PT Cruiser and headed to Pensacola to visit my friend, Devin. I stayed there a week, then headed to my parents’ place near Asheville, North Carolina. Devin’s condo is half way through to their house, which is pretty convenient. We plan to come back right before Christmas, but this time we are renting a condo down the street from my family. You know what? There was the cabin next door to them for sale and they didn’t let us know. Could have had a sweet mountain cabin. My cousin Marjorie also just moved to Asheville, so it was great to see her. She is pursuing her masters in Social Work.

MSCP. As for my masters, I am signed up for four more classes starting next Tuesday. The first class I took for summer was only a month long… which left me with a sweet two-month break. Also got most of May off. I know it’s starting to be time for me to go back to school when I consider putting on a bra and washing my hair an accomplishment for the day. Anyway, learning about Statistics, Ethics, Counseling Theories, and some other class I forgot. Then, next semester I start my thesis! I AM AN ADULT.

SOCIALLY WILLING. My Rotary Club has named me the social media manager. And by named me, I mean “Hey, you guys need to be on social media to attract new members. I got you a Twitter and Instagram. Oh, and your website looks 2001.” So, follow us. Better yet, join your local Rotary Community Service Club. Meet people, share experiences, yada yada. I’ve never been a huge fan of social media. I have an Instagram (I just got it two years ago), and I deleted Facebook in 2012. I think we have a huge problem with oversharing every detail… as I sit and type on my 15-years strong (well, hasn’t had significant gains) blog. It’s a way to connect, I get it, and it’s fun. But wow, it is time consuming! Oh, and here is a photo of me speaking to three Rotary clubs about the benefits of sending 10th graders to RYLA camp in the summer. I went a million years ago. It’s a confidence booster. Just look at those briefing hands.

MEDALING KIDS. Lastly, the Air Force ball is next month. I’m no longer active duty, but Larry is. As an officer, he feels it’s his duty to attend these sorts of things to network, and I totally agree. So, I found a dress… it was the last one and in my size. It fits perfectly, and my medals will look awesome on them. No bling needed; it’s built-in with years of service. & for fuck’s sake, ladies: no sateen, rhinestone-embellished prom dresses. Tacky as hay-ell. I’m ready to move away from the South. & where are the people my age? So odd. It’s like a black hole around here.

Went to Starbuck’s yesterday. Tried to contain the excitement that in a month I will have sugar-free PSL in my life again.

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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.