Small town girl. Joins Navy. Sees the world. Flies in planes. Hunts submarines. Gets out of military and has 3 kids. Rejoins Air National Guard as an "old lady" of 38.

A humorous compilation of stories and lessons learned. Usually the hard way.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Mighty P-3 Orion

This week's post is in response to Mama's Losin' It Weekly Writing Workshop in which I was to incorporate the word "sparkle" somewhere.

Below is a clip taken from my book I've been working on for nearly a million years now.  Nearly.  Let me know your thoughts- too many adjectives?  Sometimes I have that problem.  But there is nothing better than free editing!  Well, except free beer.

          As the mighty Orion, with her rumbling four engines, soared through the hazed air, volcanic ash spewed forth in a continuous stream atop the mountain peak.  The sunlight sparkled on the wing’s condensation, lighting up the black stains from the engine tail exhausts. 

         The massive plane jutted to the left and then to the right, never missing a beat for she had been doing this for decades and was a veteran to many skies.  She dipped her port side wing ever so gently causing the entire beast to veer to the left in one continuous movement.  The plane seemed unaware and undaunted that just a simple shift in the wind could cause the stream of ashes to be sucked into the intakes, extinguishing the engines and cause her to fall to her eternal grave at the base of the volcano. 

        Yes, as she proudly flew with her chest thrust forward.  Unstoppable.  She believed her power was untouchable and the sky was forever her own- as it always had been.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Blessings in Disguise

As the Thanksgiving holiday quickly approaches, we all tend to use this season as a reminder to reflect on what we are truly thankful for in our lives.

Often the answers are obvious and universal:  family, food, and shelter.  The desires that unite all humans everywhere in every culture.

But what about the blessings that aren't so obvious?  The ones that come upon us as a camouflaged surprise?  The ones that we may not recognize as a blessing right away- or even for quite a while.  It may take many years until we can look back and really see what a blessing in disguise that it was.

The loss of a job-- only to have been given that opportunity to finally start up the career you've always dreamed of- not just the one you ended up in.

Your alarm not going off-- only to find that you avoided a horrible accident on the way to work.

A terrible break-up-- only to later find the person of your dreams- the one that you really should have been with all along.  The one that makes all of the heartaches along the journey completely worth it.

They are everywhere- big and small.  Any unpredicted, unplanned happenstance that you just don't know if you have the strength to survive- only to find you end in a much better place as a result.

My best blessing in disguise:  My little girl.  I already had two wonderful children which fulfilled our home completely.  Then one day I found out I was pregnant again.  (Still unsure how that happened??)  For a planner like myself- I did not know how to handle it.  I calculated everything in my life.  Now, I found myself having to re-write all of my future plans.  It took me many months to accept this.

And then my baby was born- and I suddenly couldn't remember life before her.  She is a beautiful butterfly that leaves a trail of happiness everywhere that she goes.  She lights up a room and touches hearts.  I could not imagine our family without this addition- our little blessing in disguise.

So for this holiday season ahead, I challenge you to try to embrace the hardships- even the little annoyances that we encounter on a daily basis. Try to trust that there is a plan for all of this somewhere.  Somewhere, it is really a blessing.

What are some of your blessings in disguise??


Monday, November 12, 2012

The Artist Manifesto

For:  Those that love to create.
From:  A fabulous writer and teacher that asked us to share, Jeff Goins:

The Artist Manifesto

This is it. NO TURNING BACK. No excuses, no delays. Time to sit down and focus. To show up and create. To paint and play and craft. To DREAM and vision-cast.

To make all things new.

This is beauty in action. Life in full swing. THIS IS ART.

There are no ringside seats or sick days. Everyone must play. No second chances. You only get one shot. All you have is today.

THE TIME IS NOW. To inspire wonder and awe. To speak up in a world fast asleep at the wheel.

We’re counting on you. To be creative. To AWAKEN our souls with beauty. To use your heart and hands to bring meaning back into the universe.

Because without you we are all lost.

Life makes no sense without prophets and poets.

We need you to DO THE WORK and honor your call. To tap into the Muse and find your voice.

We cannot do this alone. We have lost the child-within. That part of us content to stare at clouds — at home with magic and mystery. We need your help to find her. So that we can dance and laugh and sing. So that we can BE WHOLE once again.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Beginnings & Endings

The following was written as a prompt from Write on Edge:  New

Rain fell on that northern summer morning.  It cleansed the air but cast a dark gloom.  It was the kind of rain that allowed for a lazy summer afternoon indoors, without the guilt and expectations a beautiful day will bring.

            We sat in silence during the hour-long ride to the bus stop.  If a word had been spoken, it was irrelevant, and quickly cast aside.  Everyone’s minds were preoccupied with a shared sensation of the expected loss that was about to come.  Any beginning requires an end- a loss.

            After an eternity, the car came to a halt. 

“Well, this is the place,” my father said. 

            I’d never been to a bus stop before, and this one seemed lonely.  Why was I doing this again?  I could turn around so easily right now.  Everything would be much easier- and safer.  But would I really happy?

I said goodbye to my baby sisters. They stood vulnerable on that cold morning.  Did they think I was abandoning them?  For the first time I was unable to shelter them.  I felt selfish when I thought of the burdens that they were to bear in the future.  I could only hope that someday they’d forgive me.

            It was his cry that paralyzed me.  My father.  He had always kept the monsters away.  And now he cried.

            “If it’s about the money- we’ll find a way to pay for college.” 

            “No dad.” It wasn’t the money.  He would’ve offered me the world in that moment.  But I couldn’t stay. 

I wanted to go home to curl up in my warm bed. But I couldn’t.  I had to go.  I wanted to see the world.  I wanted to fly.  I wanted to “save” the world. I had to jump and look later.

            So I turned away.  Quick, like ripping off a band-aid.  I climbed onto the bus and pressed my face to the window- swallowing to keep back the tears.  This wasn’t the place to cry- not right now.  I watched my family until the very last second- until they were too far away.

And then I panicked.  I just wanted one more look- but it was too late.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Something to be Thankful for: America's Elections

I stole this from an old military friend and just had to share. Thanks for the perspective, Pete, I couldn't agree more!

Once again, Americans have selected a leader. Note that, no tanks rolled through streets, no soldiers occupied towns and cities, no "factions", unsatisfied with the results, murdered other "factions". No thugs attacked people merely for voting; in fact, all citizens eligible were constantly encouraged to vote, regardless of whom they voted for. No riots broke out. No prospective aspirant leader called for the death of his opponents. No one ordered others to kill their enemies. Bombs were not detonated in polling places.

The process took place, peacefully.

No matter how you feel about its outcome, isn't that something we can all be proud of?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Jay Lenno once did a segment before an election surveying college students on the street posing the question:

We have started a petition to end women’s suffrage.  Would you be willing to sign it?

Unfortunately 98% of the students said yes.  Granted Women’s Suffrage, though it may sound terrible- is actually a pretty great thing.

Such a trivial detail of our lives- as we live in a time and country where these details are no longer threatened.  We become complacent.  We forget and soon, we take this little right to vote for granted.

We’ve heard the stories in our history books.  Before 1920, you could only vote if you were a land-owning, white male.  Now if you are not a land-owning white male, can you imagine what a powerless feeling that would be? 
"Pssst.  Mr. John Smith.  If you haven’t made up your mind about who is going to be my new President and my leader of this free world- will you pretty-please consider my opinion?”
What? You?  You a black female that rents an apartment is trying to tell me who to vote for?  Off with your head.”

John Smith can be such a jackass some days.

One day some chics had enough of Mr. John Smith telling them to make him some cookies.  They were all like.  “No Sir, Mr. John Smith.  Not today.  I AM a US citizen that pays taxes on my sugar for your cookies- therefore I WILL decide who the next dude I’m going to pay taxes to is going to be.  Umm hmmm.”  [insert Z snap here.]

Then one day not too long ago- surprisingly not too long ago.  As little as 1966 (a mere 46 years ago!!)- it was finally amended that ALL US citizens had the right to vote for their president and whether or not they wanted a casino next to the local daycare. (Blasted gambling toddlers!)

Our country continues to evolve as equal rights continuously expand and are redefined.  This is necessary.  As we become more educated and a less ignorant nation, we realize that ALL people are created equal and ALL tax-paying US citizens have the RIGHT to vote.  We can only hope that the rest of the world will follow suit someday.  We are getting closer- but still have so much to overcome.

So today, I ask that you remember that hundreds of thousands of people have fought hard and have even given their life so that you may be free and so that you may exercise your right to VOTE.
Please don’t dishonor them by thinking it is unnecessary, irrelevant, or meaningless.  We are only one battle away from communism and dictatorship.

And now you've had your history lesson of the day.  But I didn't have to tell you this- you already knew it.  Now, go out and make wise decisions.