Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy St. Patty's Day, and Welcome Spring

Happy Spring, everyone! I believe that yesterday was the "official" Spring Equinox, although we have been having spring weather here in Columbus for a few weeks now.  With that spring weather has come terrible allergies for me, and I have never had allergies in my life! Luckily, they have seemed to clear up somewhat, so now I can really enjoy the weather.  Which is a good thing, because our calendar has been packed the past couple of weeks!

Before I start, I want to give a word of warning to all iPhone owners: don't download the new operating system until you have BACKED UP EVERYTHING on your iPhone! I rarely install the updates to my iPhone, so I kind of forgot the way you are supposed to do it.  You are supposed to back up everything on your iPhone to iTunes before installing updates.  Apparently, I hadn't done this since the very beginning of October.  Thursday of last week, I downloaded the new operating system, and lost all of my contacts and (worst of all!) pictures since then! That includes the phone # of basically everyone I've met at CAFB. So I am probably going to leave a lot out of this blog since my pictures and iPhone calendar are usually what I  use to remember what the heck happened over the past x number of days.  You know how sometimes your week flies by and by the time you get to the end of it, you don't remember what you did! Anyway, hopefully my experience will save someone else from having the same problem.  Luckily, thanks to my blogging, most of my pictures had already been uploaded to my computer. Also we recently started using this amazing app (would recommend to all) called Cozi which syncs my calendar and Chris', and also saves online so I didn't lose all my appointments. 

Anyway, two Fridays ago when I got back from Birmingham, Jon and Autumn and we had decided to throw a bonfire in the huge open field between our houses for the guys in our class.  We brought both our fire pits out and burned a bunch of wood and did s'mores.  Then someone...okay it was me...had the idea for the guys to take this picture...I think it is pretty funny!

Someone (NOT me) had the idea to burn that huge cardboard box...I was terrified we would light the whole street on fire, but nothing happened.  I guess that's what happens when you give a bunch of guys access to fire.  No matter how old they are, they are going to want to see what happens when you burn this or that.

The next day (Saturday the 10th) Greg and Tammy came into town for a visit.  It was the perfect day for a visit because it was career day again, and all the planes were brought out for us to tour.  I took a bunch of pictures, but unfortunately, I took them with my phone so I don't have them anymore! But Tammy took these and put them on her facebook.  I wish we would have gotten a group picture!

Chris with the C-17.  This is the one he has been leaning toward wanting to fly, but he's still undecided. 

C-17 again.

With the KC-10 (refueler)

In the F-16
 For dinner we went to J. Broussard (we love that place!) and everyone enjoyed their meal there.  We were so exhausted after spending half the day in the sun walking around that we didn't do anything after dinner! The next morning I made breakfast (Goat Cheese and Artichoke Frittatta...yum! Lost my picture though!) and they headed out around lunch.  I spent the afternoon on my cornhole project (more on that later) and Chris had to do some studying.  Later on is when I started having a complete allergy attack which kept me feeling pretty miserable for a few days. 

The rest of my week was spent fighting with allergies while trying to get ready for our St. Patty's day party.  After getting thoroughly medicated, I felt a lot better by Friday and finally cashed in the gift certificate that afternoon for a massage that Chris gave me for Christmas.  I guess my masseuse had the healing touch because I have felt just fine since then!

Chris and I were so pumped about throwing our St. Patty's day party for the class! My idea was to make it a beer tasting where everyone would bring different beers and everyone would taste each other's.  I had cups out with green dye in the bottom so that the beer would turn green.  Chris commented that I put a lot of "work" into decorating, but what he doesn't understand is that is half the fun for me! So here are some pictures of the decor:

Alright, so...starting in the back, there is our bucket full of beer in the living room area. Next to it, I put out a basket full of coozies for people to use. Then there are my Irish Car Bomb cupcakes, actually made with Guinness, whisky, and irish cream (like a real Irish Car Bomb)..they were a huge hit! A pitcher of water, and in front of it an empty plate where I put Beer Battered Fried Pickles (beer battered to match the beer theme, and pickles because they are green!).  To the left of the empty plate was spinach dip (green, again), and then all my little empty cups with green dye at the bottom to make the beer turn green.  The little green bowl next to the beer bucket was for bottle caps.  I also decorated the table with scattered beer bottle caps that I collected a while back to make a "man" table for Chris (still gotta find the time for that little project!) Also, can you see the little food labels? I made those :)

Beer cheese dip...dyed green...see, y'all, it's a theme!  Just love themes!

Kitchen drink set-up...with a little St. Patty's dish for the bottle caps.

Guacamole and pigs-n-blankets guessed mustard. 

Casey brought this yummy Buffalo Chicken Dip (and I had also made little food labels for stuff people brought)

Outside (patio) mini-setup

I can't believe I didn't take a picture of this sign that I made hung up in front of our hutch! Luckily, I took a picture with my phone (on Friday, after I updated my iPhone) to send to Autumn so just imagine it on the hutch by the kitchen table! It says "Everyone is Irish on March 17"

I also forgot to take a picture of this once I got it to the house, but I made it too...and you can imagine it hanging over the lamp shade in our entry-way. It says "Happy St. Patrick's Day! Eat, Drink, and Be Irish!"

Also, we asked everyone to dress for the St. Patty's day theme, and a lot of people went all out! Here are some pics:

I was completely obsessed with Casey and Eli's hilarious shirts...with each other's faces on leprechaun bodies!
Jon and Autumn brought homemade ice chocolate chip, yum!

Nancy is the only girl in the class and she is lots of fun!

Me and Casey at our pilot partner, The Princess, later on.

Sometime over the last month or so, Chris and I decided that we really needed a cornhole board so that we could bring it to tailgates and have it at outdoor parties like this one.  Neither of us have any carpentry experience, but I got a great deal on this set (beanbags included) from the Alabama Cornhole Association while I was working in Birmingham.  They are actually used cornhole boards from their tournaments so they are the exact right size and I could paint them in an Auburn-theme.  Can't wait to bring these babies to Auburn this fall! I am pretty proud to say I painted them!

I made a couple of new discoveries on CAFB this week.  First of all...I can't believe we have been living here 8 months and didn't know there was a lake on the base! And a really pretty one, at that! We are definitely going to bring a picnic basket out here sometime this weekend. Autumn, Casey, and I brought our dogs out on Sunday afternoon and let them chase the ball in the water.  I couldn't believe how far Mason swam out to get the ball! Maybe he is finally getting over his fear of the water, or maybe he just couldn't stand the other dogs to be out there without him!

Also, this would have been nice to know when I was training for the half marathon: Columbus has a 10.7 mile "perimeter road" that goes around the base.  Casey (who is training for the full Air Force marathon in Ohio later this year) and I ran it and discovered several things while we were one it, such as a horse stable and a paint ball course. 

Last night, the class had dinner at our "Pilot Partner" in town, which is a business in town that "sponsors" your class by offering discounts and just helping you get acclimated to the local culture.  Our pilot partner is...surprise! The Princess (the most popular bar in town that has also has a restaurant).  We now get 50% off 3 nights a week there and 25% off 3 other nights a week.  At the dinner, they had a raffle and Chris won this amazing T-shirt:
"Only the Strong Survive"...haha! I don't know about a picture of two roosters fighting...

As you can see, Chris' mustache is getting quite impressive.  We still have 10 days to go in "mustache March" and I definitely think he could stand to win some kind of award. I don't believe I actually covered the tradition of Mustache March in my last post, so here is a brief history, and the "rule" as outlined in the instructional email Chris forwarded me from the Lt. Colonel in charge of the students (I guess he forwarded it to me so that I would believe that this actually existed):

U.S. Air Force ace Robin Olds became celebrated for a flowing handlebar
mustache he grew while commanding the 8th Tactical fighter Wing Wolfpack
during the Vietnam War, and when forced to shave it by his superior, the
source of an Air Force tradition known as "Mustache March."

The first rule of mustache march is...
Let's get things straight from the beginning:  Mustache March is not a
contest. It's a reminder of our rich Air Force heritage...For a month!
If there's a contest to be had, then I recommend the following:

1. All registered participants must be clean-shaven on March 1st, unless
they are competing in the pre-existing condition class.
2. Until March 15th, the leadership above the squadron level is 'likely' to
allow "minor" deviations from the AFIs with regard to (sts) width of the
'stache...after that, get it trimmed (sts).
3. Registered participants who shave off their mustache prior to judging are
disqualified. I recommend a Disqualification Fine of $20 to be added to our
donation to charity.
4. Participants will be subjected to a minimum of 2 photographs (before and
after) during the course of Mustache March for documentation/humiliation
purposes...and additional photographs are encouraged. It is highly
recommended that all participants get their 'before' pictures taken
willingly as you've practically all got smart phones in your
for the "after" photos, those will be done at the to-be-organized squadron
function at the end of March. Those pics will certainly be used for "humor"
(read humiliation) purposes. Future squadron roll calls deserve some humor!
5. Here are the award categories:
Best of Show
The name basically sums it up. This award is reserved for the most
spectacular specimen produced over the course of the month.
This is utterly subjective to the judge's personal opinion(s).
Most Disturbing
When you look at this mustache, if will frighten you. We will warn others
about the sight of this mustache.
Most Fitting
Sometimes the stars align and a man and his mustache become something...
more, with a mustache.
This award is given to the mustache that makes a man greater than the sum of
his otherwise wholly inadequate parts.
Dirt-lip Award
The little follicles that couldn't...The recipient of this award can only
take solace in the fact that this is all for charity.
Preexisting Condition Class Award
This is an wholly separate class reserved for the few, proud men who choose
to wear a mustache every day of their glorious lives. Members of this class
are not required to shave their existing mustaches on March 1st. There is
only one award for this class, and members of this class are not eligible
for any other award categories.
All remaining participants must attend the March 30th judging ceremony. I
recognize that the 30th is not the last day of March, but it IS a Friday.
More details will follow regarding the squadron function to take place on
that date.
Other Mustache Categories that could be judged in an "Instant Justice"
Wyatt Earp
Fu Man Chu
Janet Reno
Magnum PI
Free Candy in the Van
Groucho Marx
Warren Harding

As I have said before, I think Chris stands to win the "Free Candy in the Van" award.  We shall see...

Chris has been busy studying for his tests and doing a lot of simulations lately.  Yesterday, he did a simulation where he practiced several emergency procedures, including being ejected from the plane.  Let's hope that's the closest to a real ejection he will ever get! He has passed all of his tests so far, and hasn't even come close to failing any of them.  He got fitted for his "G-suit" this week too, which has all of these pockets that fill with air when he pulls G's while flying.   Some of my lady friends may not know this, because I didn't know it...but when you are flying, and you are accelerating very quickly or doing different maneuvers, the weight/pressure on your body may be several times that of a normal "g" (or the regular gravitational pull of the earth), which can cause you to black out or lose consciousness.  There are different methods you can use to keep from blacking out, like flexing certain muscles to keep the blood from pooling in the lower body, etc (you don't want the blood to flow away from your brain!).  The G-suit has pockets of air that inflate around your legs when the g-forces cause a certain amount of pressure to keep  the blood from flowing to the lower body. I doubt my explanation makes much sense, but that's the general idea.

Tomorrow some ladies and I are going to Starkville to do their downtown wine trail (all the stores are giving 25% off! yay!).  Friday, our friends Jaime and Jordan are having his  (i.e. their) assignment night, where they will find out what plane he is getting and where they will be stationed, so we are going to that, then to a BBQ at Casey & Eli's house. Saturday is half ruined because we have to do our taxes...yuck! But maybe if we get it done early, we can salvage the second half of the day! The Pilgrimage starts next week, so I have that to look forward to as well!

Thanks for reading this, our social life has really gotten crazy since Chris started training, but we are enjoying every minute of it.  For the time being, Chris has been able to budget his time really well and still has time to do most anything, but that will change when his 12 hours days begin.  We are making the most of it while we can.  His first flight in the T-6 is in 1 week from Friday!! Here he is with it on Career Day:

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like y'all had so much fun at the St. Patty's Day party! I loved all the green dyed stuff!