Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My 1st Email from Afghanistan

An hour ago, I received my 1st Email from my Husband who just arrived in Afghanistan,
for a year long tour. Those of you who read my blog, know that my Husband just retired from the United States Army with 35 Years & 7 Months, Yet, There was still one thing he wanted to do, He wanted to serve in Afghanistan, He never got a chance too,,,,So he thought he'd take a different road, One that wears a Civilian Uniform... I'm not too pleased with the Month & Date his new company choose to send him, However ...Military Wife or Civilian Wife I will support him 110%.. I would also like to Thank everyone for their thoughts & prayers for Jack & I during this time, Your supports means the world to us!

Howdy BB....and Everybody else....
First I want to say how much I miss beautiful wife...
my fantastic son...Mom...Ed and Sally....oh...and that hairy thing...
she would love it here...we have two camp cats that she could chase...
I have never been to a place that needed a tree this bad.....
actually this place could use a few million trees...
I am in Kabul this evening on the 23d of December....
I wore a short sleeve shirt all day was probably in the mid 60's
and the sky was very blue...what little you could see of it...the locals burn
everything in sight to keep warm so there is a serious air quality problem here.
After crossing over the southern portion of Afghanistan it was still
another two hours of flying before arriving in Kabul...
we flew close to a thousand miles and I did not see one
....railroad...tree....or any sign of civilization...just huge beautiful...
incredibly rugged mountains covered in snow....
This could be such a paradise for outdoor enthusiast...
unfortunately...there are some very angry people on the ground
who would like to keep this place in the stone ages...
Our camp is named after a contractor killed in Mosul the same time I was there.
Everybody here has been just great making sure us
newbees get adjusted as soon as possible...

The Ghurka guards from Nepal are great...very polite...always smiling...
and they only get leave once a room is almost comical...
.its eight by sixteen feet and I share it with another contractor....
I have to go outside to change my mind...hopefully more space will come
open in the near future. would have loved the airport...I have got to get some pictures
...DC3....flying!!....Russian HIND D attack helicopters....
Russian bombers converted into freight haulers....every imaginable type
of helicopter.....and a whole bunch of stuff that will never fly again...
.the mechanics are slowly cannibalizing these poor old warbirds
to keep something else flying...
While driving through the neighborhood this morning we
were slowed to a crawl...a herd of goats were walking
up the main road ahead of us....they need "goat crossing " signs here
...imagine Washington DC with goats walking up to the Lincoln memorial....
the people are extremely poor here...I saw a young boy pushing this
wheelbarrow bigger than him down a muddy side road full of scrap
wood.......he should be in school...not working...
we are sooo blessed...I love you all
There you have it: Jack's first impression of Afghanistan... Thank You for letting me share this tiny insight with you all...

AMERICAN AIRLINES STATEMENT REGARDING FLIGHT 331 Release #1 @ 11:58 (p.m.) U.S. Central Time

AMERICAN AIRLINES STATEMENT REGARDING FLIGHT 331 Release #1 @ 11:58 (p.m.) U.S. Central Time

Friday, December 18, 2009

Reserve Duty & A bunch of NYC 1st

At some point yesterday, A Facebook message pops up...Who's sitting on Reserve Duty in NYC & not flying, Do you want to go to St Patrick's Cathedral & listen to some Christmas music?? .I DO...I DO...I DO...

Off we go,,, Krystal, Laurie, Brent & Me...
This was their 30th Annual "A City Singing at the Christmas", My favorite was the Young People's Chorus of New York City ...Carol of the Bells... Fantastic!!!
St Patricks was packed, We did arrive in enough time to get a Real seat. The middle picture above shows the monitor we watched the program on, The last program was a Candle light service. It was amazing to see everyone in this Church, Lights dimmed accordingly singing "Oh Silent Night" with just a warm glow of candle light. Hopefully I can do this again next year!
So this is where Bryant Park is,,,
I felt like the biggest tourist when we got near Rockerfeller Center, This evening was brutal cold, that didn't stop us from viewing the "TREE". The highlight of the evening was when the Sac's 5th Avenue, played the Snowflake light show on it's building , it was amazing & magical. Really put me in the spirit of Christmas & helped me forget the days on end I had been sitting at the Crashpad waiting on the call that never came.
To add to my list of 1st, My Crew walked me over to Grand Central Station, You know how you see something & you say to yourself, " I always thought "THIS" would be Bigger" Say like the Alamo, I can honestly say Grand Central Station holds up to it's end of the bargain on this one, It's Huge, Historic & Spectacular !!
Underneath Grand Central Station, You have Shopping & Dinning areas, Brent my Classmate, Crashpad Roomie & Friend said "Do you like Cheesecake?, We have to hit Junior's",,,,
It was a hit,,,everyone got New York Cheesecake with Cherries,
Krystal didn't wait for us....She dug right in,,,
I was in a Holiday Mood, So I got the Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake,,,It was DEEELISH!
So, good that we had to get some just to take back to the Crashpad for Breakfast!
Brent & I, At Grand Central Station... He was so knowledgeable about this place he was a font of information,,, He said "Did you know they were going to tear this place down?",, What a loss of a landmark that would of been, This is a Grand Place, & A Must see if you are ever in the New York City area,,,,

Thank You, Krystal, Brent & Laurie for sharing this wonderful evening with me!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Why do I sit on Reserve?

I've been sitting here at my Crashpad for the past few days "Not Flying",,, The 1st day of NotFlying is usually fun, You catch up on Facebook or Twitter, Maybe even some Emails,,,
Today I'm on day 3/I have 2 more days to go... Followed by 48 hours off..Then another 5 days on... As of right now, I have 12 Hours & 10 Minutes of Flight Time for the 16th of December, That is normally unheard of, So I SIT,,, I had a NonFlying Friend of mine ask..."Why bother, Why do you do this?",,
TWO Words: "Flight Benefits"
The wall you see here is actually called the Piazza dei Miracoli. On the other side of Piazza dei Miracoli is
Torre Pendente di Pisa

Or Better known as: The Leaning Tower of Pisa....
Of course I had to do the preverbal "Holding up the Tower Pic" to bad the
BetterHalf cut off the top
The Tower of Pisa was a work of art, performed in three stages over a period of about 177 years. Construction of the first floor of the white marble campanile began on August 9, 1173.
The tower began to sink after construction had progressed to the third floor in 1178. This was due to a mere three-meter foundation, set in weak, unstable soil, a design that was flawed from the beginning. Construction was subsequently halted for almost a century. This allowed time for the underlying soil to settle. Otherwise, the tower would almost certainly have toppled. In 1198, clocks were temporarily installed on the third floor of the unfinished construction.
In 1272, construction resumed, In an effort to compensate for the tilt, the engineers built upper floors with one side taller than the other. This made the tower begin to lean in the other direction. Because of this, the tower is actually curved. The seventh floor was completed in 1319. The bell-chamber was not finally added until 1372. There are seven bells, one for each note of the musical major scale. The largest one was installed in 1655.
I believe this is the Best Family Portrait ,,,Ever!!!

This is why, I fly,,,, This is why I sit Reserve. . This is why I love my Job!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Flight Attendant Packing list for December

A few days ago, I got my December schedule, NO SURPRISE I'm working Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve & New Years Day...
Oh Joy, Joy!!
Now why is this Blog worthy?
I reflected back to one of my Christmas dinners a few years ago,
It was from a Vending machine..
Now, Flight Attendants, 99% of the time have snacks in their roller-board..
& December will be no exception, I'm going to bring all my favorites in case I'm stuck in NeverNeverLand over the Holidays again.
So what are some of the goodies that Flight Attendants might have in there, I'll share some of my favorites: (above) Nice breakfast item, True Delights: Dark Chocolate, Raspberries, & Almonds
I might need a light snack of Pretzels & Cheese
Lasagna for Christmas Dinner, Maybe?
You Always need COOKIES!
These handy Tuna Fish packet are always good in a quick pinch, they lay flat & they are great with Crackers,,,, (Just don't eat on the plane please)
Maybe I'll get lucky & I can grab a Salad, I can always toss Chicken on top!!
Always bring Good Creamer,,, So, you can enjoy your hotel room coffee!

Below is what was offered in my Crown Plaza, How can one make a decent cup of coffee with this?

You just gotta have some comfort food: Mac & Cheese always fits the bill...
Soup, Enough Said!
Yummy, Almonds: Regular & Dark Chocolate Cocoa flavored ones for dessert!

Hopefully, I will have a wonderful Christmas dinner somewhere with my Crew, even if I don't I will be prepared this year...for a nice hotel room picnic...

Flight Attendants are nothing if we are not creative,
So let me hear from you FA's whats your favorite snack to bring?

On another note, Dear Passengers,
Please pack a snack for yourself & or your Children flying with you..We will be seeing even more delays with weather approaching & that One & a half hour flight you booked to Grandma's house could be delayed for hours,,,
I've been told by passengers: "I didn't think we could bring snack thru Security"
Sure you can...
As long as it is not packed in liquid,,
Check out the TSA web-sight:
Keep in mind: We can't heat up your food
& please be mindful of the "Odor" of the items
that may offend those sitting around you.

If you don't fly often, Please check out the TSA Web-Sight..
I see passengers getting their items tossed in the trash everyday if they exceed 3 ounces.
Sorry, Ladies but the TSA does not care just how much you paid for that
facial moisturizer,,,,

When in doubt, Ask a Flight Attendant =)

PS: To my fellow Military Members:
Question was: Can I eat an MRE onboard the Aircraft?

Yes, You can, However you cannot "Heat" them onboard!!


Monday, November 30, 2009

HO HO HO,,,,Merry "Early" Christmas

After weeks of Brad (Aka: @Brajit ) Taunting me, Via Twitter & Skype, I got my 1st Official Christmas Gift today... All I saw for weeks was this Big White Box,,
Even though I tried to bribe half of Twitter, My Buddies, would not budge or gimme a hint.
Today was the day, Brad was a true friend in stride, as he rolled out of his warm, comfy bed at Oh' Dark Thirty to drown my sorrows in pancakes at IHop.
I truly have spent endless hours glancing thru SkyMall Magazine... Believe it or NOT, I've never seen these plates.. But Brad DID, & I ADORE THEM!!!
My morning was soon filled with "Cheer", No,,,,Not the kind you drink...with laughter..
These plates are just too Precious,,,,
"Chianti" Get Up,,,,Who thinks of this stuff,,,,
I will treasure my "Holiday Cheer" Plates & I will also treasure our IHop Pancakes...
See Brad, It was worth the wait, Yes? Today was the perfect day for our Gift Exchange!!!
Sometimes procrastination is a GOOD THING!
Thank You, SABLB

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I love Fudge,,,

Problem is, I only love MY Fudge, I've tasted Fudge from High End Boutiques, to local yocal joints that claim they have the best Fudge in the country & they are just not as good as mine, So I thought I'd share... say you've been asked to attend a Christmas party, & Of course you say: "Can I Bring anything?",,, they say sure "bring something Sweet",,,, Now don't go into a Panic: This quick Fudge is Easy & Delish....

You need to use a Double Boiler, I don't have one of those, So I set a smaller pot into a larger pan filled with water on a medium heat... You do NOT want your water to ever boil. Inside your smaller pot you'll add.
  • 1 Can of 14 ounce can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 Cups of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
Blend until Melted & Smooth
The next decision is yours, I add 1 Cup of Chopped Pecans,
You can add what your heart desires here, from Mini Marshmallows to Raisins
Blend until nuts are completely covered. . . . Never let mixture come to a boil...
Pour mixture into a buttered dish, for easy removal later...
I always make a batch for my Family & Friends, then I make just a baby one for me.
(I have to make sure it's good, Right?)
Cover with plastic wrap & pop in the fridge over night...
Start to stop, this Fudge takes less than 30 Minutes...It's very moist & very chocolattly,,,

Your friends will think you worked on this Fudge all day, Go ahead impress them, Not that many folks read this Blog, so the secret will just be ours, I won't tell.

Next day, flip your dish over & place in a decorative dish & slice into bite size pieces...


Thursday, November 26, 2009

100th Post on such a Special Day

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

Our Tradition is to decorate our "Christmas" Tree the evening of Thanksgiving
While we won't be putting up our "Real Tree" this year, 1. Because
I will be working nearly the entire month of December &
2. My Better Half (BH) will be en route to Afghanistan.
I refuse to put it up, till we can share a Christmas together!
So, this year is our KEY CHAIN CHRISTMAS TREE!!
What? ? You don't know what this is?
This is something that started a few years ago...
I'll share: When you visit a city you buy souvenirs right?
Well, we buy Key Chains & we put them up, only to bring them
out on Thanksgiving to place on our Christmas Tree..
It is such a great evening to reflect on our memories we've shared throughout the years, we've been together..
Here are just a few of our Memories: Barcelona, Spain
Australia (yes, I know it's upside down) Get it?

We have many many MEMORIES on this tree,,,& hopefully many more MEMORIES to add
Thank You for letting me share our Thanksgiving Tradition

Last Years tree at Fort Jackson, SC

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Fort Worth, Texas, United States