Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mrs. Clean.

If you didn't know this about me, I'm a little neurotic about cleaning. I have certain ways I like things done. Not to pull the "I blame my Mother card'. But...I blame my Mother. But that's not such a bad thing, as I dearly look up to my Mom and hope to be like her some day.

(I'm guilty of the above photo...)

She had "A Way" of doing things around the house. Bath towels were to be folded in thirds, beach towels in halves. Kitchen floors were to be vacuumed, and then scrubbed in a certain manner. Dishes that made it to the dishwasher had to pass a test. I used to find this annoying. Now, I'll say it. Mom, you're right! Bath towels should be folded in thirds, they fit better on a towel bar that way. And beach towels will fit better when folded in halves! ;)

Where am I going with this? Well, as I said, I'm a tish neurotic. Sometimes I've made comments like, "Some day, if our budget allows, I'd like to get a cleaning lady." Ryan usually responds to this with a very cynical smirk. Not because he doesn't approve of a cleaning lady. But because he knows I'd spend as much time b**ching about the cleaning lady as it takes to actually clean the house.

With that being said, he is right. How do I know this? We live in a hotel right now, as most of you are aware. I have lost count of how many times I have complained to the front desk about the cleaning ladies. And there's a daily under-the-breath comment I make about their lack of competency. (ie - Ugh, why did they hang the towels like this? - or - They scrubbed the floors, but missed the corners!)

Are they that bad? No. They're not. I'm too much of a control freak to hand over my living space to someone else. I could clean the room myself, I know. However, for $53 a day in a dark & sad room -- I'm taking advantage of the fact someone services this room. I'm not going to buy cleaning products - that's ridiculous. (But I did wash the towels once....)

The funny part is that when I complain to the front desk, they stare at me like I'm speaking Russian. Or sometimes they kind of laugh, and say, "Okay ma'am, we'll pass that on". Let me share some of the happenings. Please tell me I'm not crazy.....

  • 2 weeks ago, after being gone all day long - we came home at 8 pm to find our door WIDE OPEN. Yep. They forgot to shut the door on their way out. (Let me just remind you, we're living in this room -- we have 2 road bikes (>$700/bike), all our clothes, computers, MY CROCK POT?! (that $20 crockpot is irreplaceable - it now holds serious nostalgic value)
  • On more than one occasion, they completely forgotten to give us towels. It's really awesome, because both times I didn't discover this until after I got out of the shower. Nothin' like using a t-shirt to dry off after a nice hot shower!
  •  Today, I walked into the dark room (barely a window, so it gets really dark). Walked in, tripped, and FLEW across the room. Yes. I tripped over a garbage can. Why they plotted it in the MIDDLE of the room is beyond me. (Maybe they got tired of hearing about complaints from Room 204)
  • On weekends, we often come home to find a "Do No Disturb" sign placed on our door (which we didn't put there) -- so they don't have to clean our room. Awesome. 
I'm not really angry, this is just funny (and annoying) to me. Maybe living in a hotel is growing on me. Maybe I miss turning on Pandora, mixing vinegar/baking soda/orange peels to make my home-made all-star floor cleaner? Who knows. But I have been due for a rant!

Do you have quirks about how you clean your house? Have you ever stayed in a hotel so long that the housekeepers and you start clashing heads? Also, someecards that I used in this post make my laugh hysterically. I adore them!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Spouse of the "Man in Blue" - What I've Learned

"Man in Blues" ? Does Ryan have the blues?

No. I'm referring to him as "a man in blues" meaning Air Force.

As most of you know, in January he "took the plunge" in taking a more active role in the Air Force by taking a pilot spot. Although he's been in for 8 years, this past year our lives have changed drastically. I've never considered myself a 'military spouse', as before his only activity in the military was 1 weekend/month and 14 days/year.

So when he was commissioned back in March, and I sat in a "Spouses Forum"...I felt clueless. All the wives were dropping terms like "TLF", "TDY", "enlisted vs officer". "IFS" "UPT" "Tincker AFB" "March AFB" "Nellis"....the list went on. Whaaaat?

Then we were separated for a few months.

Then I moved to San Antonio. There was I was the base library, trying to get a card. The librarian asked me for my address. I started rattling off my address in Arizona. She said, "No, ma'am, you're address here in Texas".

......tears started rolling down my face. "I don't know my address." Yes. I cried.

"Well, where's your TLF"

*What the heck is a TLF!?!?"*
(I now know is means Temporary Lodging Facility)

"Ma'am, what's your husband's squadron?"

All questions I didn't know the answer to. Finally, I told her our room number and which hotel we are living in. I think out of pity she gave me a "Pity Library Card". (Would that be a PLC?!....ah the acronyms!)

Anyways, here are a few pieces of knowledge I've gained from this experience. I'm sure I will continue to gain more...
  1. After any time of separation, readjusting isn't easy. He has been away, in a completely different un-natural environment. When he returns, his life has been on pause, while everyone else continued on. Be patient with each other.
  2. Learn to iron. And learn to iron well. Always buy heavy starch. (Unless you really hate ironing. If you do a poor job ironing his uniform, he will never let you do it again. Especially if he's the very Type A, meticulous type. Over the years, I have gone through "Ryan's Ironing Training Program" (RITP)
  3. Everything has an acronym. (EHAA)
  4. Don't plan on anything happening for sure. Plans were to move to Columbus, MS for 1.5 years starting in June. Guess who ended up in San Antonio in June for 4 months! And then Riverside, CA for another 4-5! (Prior to that Ryan was in Pueblo, CO for 2 and Montgomery, AL for 2)
  5. You will form an interesting bond with the other spouses. You may not have a lot in common all the time, but you'll find something to have in common. You're stuck in a different city - away from family - a support network is important!
  6. Being positive is a must. Sometimes the situations aren't fun -- and it's up to you, the spouse, to keep them smiling and keep their eyes on the goal!
  7. Be careful about not complaining about where you're living. (Unfortunately, I need to practice what I preach, because I've had my moments where I don't love Texas). You're together. You're in a safe place. You are blessed.
So far this experience of living on a base, being a more active military spouse has been a good one! It's something I am proud of. I look forward to returning to our "home base" in Arizona, where I can hopefully become more involved. (and be home again...but shh...I'm not supposed to say that!) 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Healthy and Balanced Weekend brings me smiles.

Looking back on the whirlwind of a weekend, I am feeling pleased. We didn't make any plans this weekend, as Ryan has his check ride coming up (this is basically a "test" where he flies, and the instructor critiques him, and if he makes any big mistakes he fails and gets set home...No pressure!). So we had to make sure a good chunk of study time was set aside each day.

So here's my break down of what we did (again, this is my little dream that newby to SA will stumble upon this blog and find out some neat spots in the area!)

Noteworthy food we enjoyed
  • Friday night after I got off work, we tried out a placed called "The Lion and the Rose Pub". This is an Irish/English eatery. I would almost consider it a gastropub, because it had a few pieces on the menu that were a little different. Like the Curry Hummus. Ryan got the "Tour of Britain" which had sheppards pie, parmesan broiled tomatoes, bangers sausage, and a filet of fish. It was a ridiculous amount of food! Neat way to try a little of everything! Washed our meals down with a crisp IPA. (I had the Club Sandwich. I'm kind of boring sometimes)
  • We indulged Saturday morning after our run at Starbucks (so Ryan could study) in some Skinny Vanilla lattes. I had the bright idea to add an extra shot of espresso. I'm not the kind of girl that needs an extra shot of espresso. But they were thoroughly enjoyed.
  • Since most all our meals were enjoyed out this weekend, I slow cooked a Shredded BBQ Chicken wraps, served up with Broccoli Slaw. It was a keeper of a recipe!
Fun things we did
  • After studying Saturday morning, we did a little window shopping in an area called Stone Oak Village Shopping Center. It's the most picturesque area. The Starbucks is shaped like The Alamo, too. (below is a photo from the area)
  • We hit up a library in the area, and spent time researching our trip to Europe next year! So many options....(and Ryan studied some more)
  • From the library, we headed to Massage Envy for our monthly massages. Last year for our anniversary we bought memberships, and it was one of the best purchases!  
  • Went to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (the movie theater that serves drinks and food) and saw "We Are the Millers". I have to say it was hilarious! I laughed until I had tears at points.

  • Yesterday we ran here at Randolph Airforce Base (where we reside). They have a really cool running path that goes through the golf course, and then around the flight line. It actually goes 10 miles total. It's pretty fun to run on during the week, because you can watch the T-38 jets taking off. Quite a majestic site!
  • Our run consisted of a 4 miles out loop. The 1st 2 miles out, we took a moderate pace. On our 2 miles back, we would sprint 40 seconds, jog 20 sec, sprint 30 sec, jog 10 sec - and repeated that until we hit our cooldown at 3.5 miles. It kicked our butts, but helped make the run go faster!
  • Today I did another speed workout on the track. 1 mile warm-up, 400 sprint/400 jog x3, 200 spint/200 jog x 6. Total miles = 4 miles! It's easier for me to do speed workouts when it's hot out for some reasons. Keeps my mind off how hot and miserable I feel.
  • We were supposed to do 20 miles on the bike tonight - but decided to veg out, eat skittles (I blame the 30 minute wait in line @ the self check out today to urge me to make an impulse purchase) , and watch tv instead. No regrets! Sometimes you have to eat skittles and put your feet up.
In addition to the fun - I had a big chunk of time today to do laundry, grocery shop, and cut up fresh fruit and vegetables for the upcoming week! I have such a love for weekends like this that just restore your balance. It leaves me feeling refreshed and happy.

What brought smiles to your face this weekend?