Monday, May 28, 2018

In Remembrance.....

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 Lt. Kara Hultgreen (callsign "Revlon")
The first female aircraft carrier-based fighter pilot in the US Navy and sadly crashed her F-14 on the USS Abraham Lincoln CVN72 just 2 months before I reported on board. 
Rest in Peace, Shipmate. 

She may not be a human, but I'm still thinking about my first ship...
USS Canopus AS-34
11/4/65 - 11/30/94
Scrapped 2010


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Life Lately...

Yay!  I'm back!  And I'm taking a couple minutes to actually *write a post*!!!
sesame street fainting GIF
  I'm usually wordy, so I'll just do a Cliffnotes edition of the last couple weeks.
My "flat-walker" for my very first live 5K!
It was on May 5 & SuperHero themed.
We walked around the Wayne State University campus in Detroit.
Random art in the area of where I picked up my race packet the night before. 
My friend Lisa talked me into doing this and since she does 5Ks like every weekend, I counted on her to be my pace car.  We finished in 1 hour, 1 minute and some odd seconds.  I was hoping to break the 1 hour mark, but oh well!
We won't talk about the huge blood blister I got on the ball of my right foot.  
But we will talk about going straight to Los Galanes restaurant in nearby MexicanTown afterwards (since it was Cinco De Mayo) and having margaritas at 1030am!!

Sunday 5/6 was our first training with the horses for the Lapeer County Sheriff's Search & Rescue. 
We started out in the ring, doing some formations at different speeds, then explored the fairgrounds.  All the horses did really well, since it was the first time they'd met each other (expect Kisses & Remmie - we tried to keep them separated since they're together all the time.) 
It was a great day to hang out with some new friends. 
Have had some crazy days at work.
Literally a case of the right hand not knowing what the left was doing.
Annual studio pictures were taken.  You can't get bad pics of Miss Angela often!  Here she is in her ballet costume...and yes - she's holding a light saber.  They're doing "Ballet Wars" and I really can't wait to see this dance!   This is the first year ever I've heard these girls are excited about ballet!

The owner of the studio graciously split up the competition team photos over 2 days since some of them had to leave early for training with the new USPBL dance crew.  If they wanted to dance on opening weekend at the ball park, they HAD to attend 3 days of training.  
Last Saturday I sold poppies for my VFW post.  I spent 2 hours at the local Kroger.  It was a crappy, rainy day but the people watching was excellent.  I got a lot of double-takes when I said Good Morning to people - I think most people think "old men" when they think of the VFW!
Saturday night we went to a bowling fundraiser for one of the girls at the studio.
She's putting herself thru dance & needs all the help she can get to go to Nationals.
We suck at bowling.  I was excited to break 100, tho!

OMG - Nationals.  NEXT MONTH!!!

Then Mother's Day.

My first Mother's Day, 1998

The roses I got from a lady at work whose husband sent them to her - knowing full well she's allergic to them!  So she had someone take them around and give them to whoever wanted some.
The carnations are from the ball game.

Flowers from Miss Angela

This was Angel's first game at the ballpark.
We couldn't have ordered a better day!  She worked opening night Friday and it was cold & miserable & got rained out after an inning.  But Sunday was mostly sunny & in the 60s.  Perfect!
It's been a long time since I've been to a ball game, since I prefer hockey (you know - ACTION!) but it was a lot of fun. 
The "Mom" dance.
They're still working out the kinks in having the Dance Crew at the ballpark.
They were supposed to be along the walkway with the guy in the blue shirt, expecting to do the YMCA, but instead here they are outside the owner's suite doing the Cotton Eye Joe.  Oops!
They have jerseys for all 4 teams.
With Claire & Miguel - who are also teachers at her studio. 
This is when I learned I will want to have seats along the first base line & not the third!
But we had great seats, if you were actually there to watch baseball. 
Conference on the mound. 

I'm loving seeing flowers bloom! 
I even like to see the wild violets & dandelions in my lawn. 
Speaking of my lawn - we almost lost Jack in the back yard!
It took me 3 1/2 hours to mow the lawn for the first time, since we let the backyard get rather hay-field-ish.

Dance Force finally posted some pics from the competition March 24.
We Found Love / senior small group tap
Girl Power / senior hiphop line
We Help the People / large group comtemporary
Joy / adult solo
Control / senior small group jazz
The 2 in the middle are Angel & Alayna - they couldn't get more identical!
Oceans / senior small group lyrical

Cool lightning storm 

So that's about all the excitement.  Randy just left a bit ago to head to Dayton for Hamvention - He was a work until 1 am and had a hard time getting motivated to get packed & then drive 4 hours.  So it was like 7pm when he finally left.   He's worked at a booth selling radios the last couple years but that guy retired, so I'm sure he's looking forward to actually being able to browse & do whatever they do at Hamvention.  

So what am I going to do this weekend?  I actually have a free weekend!!  Mow the lawn.  Mess around in my flowerbeds.  Get the planters ready for planting.  Wash the bedspread & hanging pillows outside to air.  I really should do some more training for the SARs team.  I've done exactly 1 of 6 required incident command training sessions.   FEMA, like all government agencies - IS BORING!  I just need to suck it up and do it & get it over with.  We've already been yelled at by Lt. for not having it done.   Blargh. 

Anyhooo.  Cutting out for the night - I sure hope the cats don't try to hog the bed, since I'm gonna sprawl!


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Reflections & Bonus Pics #atozchallenge

Woohoo!  I made it thru!  
2018 A to Z Challenge Reflections
Thank you so much to all of the A-Z co-hosts for all of their hard work putting this challenge together!  
youre awesome carl sagan GIF
I've been participating in the A-Z Challenge since 2012, when I dove right in with 3 blogs.  
That was pretty ambitious!
2012 / 2013 - 3 blogs.  I've since combined 2 of them into what you see now & the other is Halloween related
2014 / 2015 - the original 2 blogs that are now combined.  I had also started doing the Countdown to Halloween linkup in October so I didn't feel guilty about dropping MGC from the A-Z.  It was just too much!
2016-2018 - just this one.  

OK, I (shamefully) didn't do a whole lot of visiting or answering comments.  I started out good - then crapped out quickly. And that showed in the amount of comments I had on my posts.  My own damn fault.  I have a few usual people who commented a lot - much love to you all!  Thank you for not deserting me!

 I had vast majority of my posts done ahead of time, only a couple I finished up on the same day they went live.   I didn't get as many regular posts written as I would have normally would have.  I don't know why life has gotten crazy in April the last couple years and I've felt like I don't have time to do anything!  
But the Spawn is finally aging out of her competition dance team, as much as we'll both miss it - Halleloo!  Of course this year was especially insane, since I joined the VFW in February and they have meetings twice a month that I still feel obligated to attend every one.  Then my sister talked me into applying for the county sheriff's new search & rescue team and we were both accepted - I really had no idea how much training this would entail!  
slow down GIF
So.  With luck, 2019 will be my best year ever (aka I'll finally have my crap together!)  

Let's begin the list of things I should have done differently and have already jotted down reminders on my spreadsheet for next year....  
*Have posts go live at UTC, like the co-hosts did.  That's 7pm EST for me and that would actually be ideal, since I could post all my links before I go to bed instead of trying to remember to doing it the next day whenever I got a chance. 
*Add a column to my personal A-Z idea spreadsheet to check off where I posted my link (on the FB post / A-Z blog comments / Google docs, etc)  Too many times I couldn't remember if I'd already posted my link on this place or the other.
*Learn permalinks!  Altho I couldn't find any tutorial other than someone else's comment on a blog post and the resulting answer.  But duly noted!
*Make sure to read & watch all the instructions!  I was stressed out because the daily letter signups closed after 48 hours.  If I'd read/watched the instructions - I would known how to access the list of daily letter links!  

I really enjoyed doing my theme about Detroit,  It really is quite a lovely place with so many interesting and historical people & places.  I know I didn't even make a dent in them on this A-Z!  In retrospect - I should have included a brief history of Detroit in my theme reveal.   And it's kind of, but not ~too~ much of a departure of my usual posting.  

My original idea to do this theme came to me midway thru the 2016 challenge!  And I thought to actually have photos of each place that I took myself, but that didn't happen.  But I made sure to get down there before the last few letters of the alphabet.  I posted some of these photos under their respective letters, but not all of them. 
You have to admit - I had the easiest X post ever!
Awesome places - both of them!  
This was the view from the parking lot at Xochimilco's.   I also didn't realize then how close to the historical Fort Wayne we were.  That would have been a cool place to check out, too.   It's supposed to be haunted. 
OMG, I've always been fascinated with Michigan Central Station!
I'd seen it 100 times from the highway and was so excited to see it up close & personal.
I was / still am in awe of the gorgeous carvings. 
I'm not sure what this actually is - but you can tell it was for the trains. 
Grace to Grace Christian Fellowship  
Kinda of across the street / kitty corner from Michigan Central - we (Miss Angela was with me) actually thought this was painted black and we laughed about it being a satanic church, but it's really a very deep green.  The cornerstone was dated 1872.  And what little stained glass that is still intact is absolutely beautiful.  
There was some construction debris behind the Grace to Grace Church, and this food(??) truck was parked on the other side of it. 

After visiting Michigan Central, we ventured into Campus Martius. 
This wall was over a skate park and also our landmark of where we parked the car!
The Michigan Soldiers & Sailor Monument (and time capsule)
The Wayne County Building
After wandering around Campus Maritus, we saw Joe Louis's fist.  I knew were were close to the river but didn't realize that close!  So we walked the 2 blocks to Hart Plaza and the Detroit River. 
Antoine De Mothe Cadillac
I love this shot!
Inside the Main Amphitheater in Hart Plaza.
Transcending - Detroit's Monument to the Labor Movement. 
There is a plane & pilot, a train & conductor and a freighter & captain carved here.  
We had some fun trying to recreate old photos.
2009 / 2018
This one was pretty darn spot on!
(question to ponder - has she really not gotten any taller since she was 11???)
Selfie with Windsor!
We saw a couple of these rolling pedal pubs around the area and they looked like a total hoot!  This group stopped and danced in front of the Spirit of Detroit!
By the time we got to the corner, they had broken off into 3 couples and were waltzing!  
Our last stop was the YMCA to see this statue.  But due to a LOT of construction in the area, one way streets and the influx of people for evening entertainments, I wasn't able to actually STOP and take as good of a picture was I wanted.  So this was taken in a hurry, zoomed way in, while I was stopped at a red light.   But I got it!

I'm pretty disappointed in myself for the lack of visiting / commenting / replying.  I really need to do the RoadTrip in order to redeem myself a little bit. 
See ya there!